Break out the locally-sourced bubbly: this Wednesday, April 22, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day!
As a TransForm supporter, there’s a good chance that you care about the Earth more than one day a year. We know that for many of you, it’s the main reason why you’ve joined our movement to make California’s transportation choices more sustainable, less reliant on cars, and better for our environment.
From advocating for a better BART system, to strengthening state policy to protect our communities against climate change, TransForm is committed to not only protecting our natural environment, but making our state a healthier place for the people of all cultures, incomes, and colors who call it home.
What makes Earth Day special is that it unites people around the globe on one day of action as we celebrate, protect, and honor our planet that gives us so much. It’s a day where we all can do a little something extra to make a difference.
So what more can you do on Earth Day? Here are a few ways we at TransForm are celebrating, and invite you to join us (and share celebrations of your own!) :
1. Make an Earth Day pledge
Hanging by the front door of the TransForm office are green (recycled) pieces of paper with staff members’ Earth Day pledges. These pledges are personal commitments to take shorter showers, use reusable coffee mugs instead of disposable to-go cups, compost more, and ride the bus. Even if you’re already living 99.9% green, we challenge you to think of one more thing you can do to help the planet. What could your Earth Day pledge be?
2. Leave the car at home for the day
It may seem like an obvious one for TransFormers, but there’s no better day than Earth Day to embrace some pollution-reducing transportation! When you walk, bike, scoot, rollerblade, carpool, take the bus, catch a train, or use any combination of these earth-friendly modes of transit, you are helping reduce climate pollution and making our air safer to breathe.
3. Get drought savvy
California is in a drought (this is probably not the first time you’re hearing this). Perhaps the best thing you can do as a Californian this Earth Day is learn about our state’s drought, understand what’s at stake, and empower yourself with ways that you can make a difference. Some places to start are Mother Jones’ article “7 Key Facts About the Drought”, SaveOurWater.com, and your local public water agency.
4. Dig into the roots of the environmental justice movement
Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson as “teach in” to raise environmental consciousness. Yet at the time, the mainstream environmental movement was still a mainly white affair concerned with wilderness protection. White environmentalists weren’t talking about, or with, communities of color or urban communities, even though it was these communities who were disproportionately dealing with the health, economic, and social impacts of environmental issues from air pollution to unclean water and contaminated soil.
Frustrated by the environmental movement’s exclusion of and silence on environmental issues that were harming so many communities, social justice advocates and civil rights leaders set out to change the conversation – thus environmental justice was born. For a deeper understanding of this history, we recommend listening to this podcast interview with Carl Anthony, environmental justice activist, founder of Urban Habitat, and co-founder of Race, Poverty, and the Environment.
Whatever you do to celebrate Earth Day, thank you for what you do every day as a TransForm supporter to make our state a healthier, greener place to live and get around.