EARTH Day on April 22 is about working together to safeguard our planet. That is why this year’s theme is A Billion Acts of Green.
The campaign calls for people, organisations and corporations to commit to an act that helps reduce carbon emissions and promotes sustainability. It can be a simple gesture, such as drying your laundry in the sun, or immense, like picking up a million pounds of trash. One participant from New York has pledged to donate her two cars and will commute by public transport and walk.
Collectively, these acts will not only have an impact on global carbon emissions, but will also demonstrate the power of small everyday individual acts of green. The goal is to mobilise one billion acts of environmental service worldwide in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012. So far, over 80 million actions have been pledged.
Some of the actions pledged: bike to school; take public transport; walk and cycle as much as possible; car-pool; eat more local food; become a vegetarian; wash clothes in cold water; take shorter showers; stop buying bottled bottle; switch to LED lights; turn off PCs and lights when not in use; stop buying individually packed snacks; run ceiling fan instead of the air-conditioner; take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Many have also committed to: eliminate use of pesticides and toxic cleaning products; plant a garden at home or in school; conduct a coral reef clean-up; plant trees; and initiate a Meatless Monday programme at school.
From Malaysia, at least two groups have made pledges.
The group Waterfall Survivors (waterfallsurvivors.blogspot.com) aims to round up 1,000 volunteers to clean up Sungai Tua Recreational Park in Selangor on April 24. The group’s Save Our Waterfalls campaign stresses the importance of preserving our natural environment.
Another action is by Starwood Hotels & Resort which owns four properties in Langkawi (The Andaman, Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort and Four Points). It will plant 1,000 trees at Sungai Bukit Hantu on the island. Local trees which are rarely grown nowadays, such as cashew nut and Malaysian grapes, will be planted.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Though it initially was largely focused on the United States, the event is now celebrated worldwide. – By Tan Cheng Li - The Star
AL :What is your pledge?