To Do – Celebrate Earth Day 2011


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Earth Day in Portland, Oregon

Today marks the 41st annual Earth Day, a day when folks from New York City to Oklahoma City and beyond take a minute out of their busy lives to celebrate just how amazing the Earth is, and to learn how to become better stewards of it’s future

There is a great need, and growing support, for the introduction of new values in our society — where bigger is not necessary better — where slower can be faster — and where less can be more. ~Gaylord Nelson, 1970,  founder of Earth Day

Founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, Earth Day was originally conceived as an environmental teach-in, but by the time that April 22 rolled around, it had blossomed into a huge national happening with thousands of schools and universities participating with protests, seminars, and events all expressing outrage at the deterioration of the environment. Pete Segar sang in Washington, DC. Over a million people congregated in New York City’s Central Park. It was a call to arms.

And now, 41 years later, it has become a global event, loosely coordinated by The Earth Day Network in over 175 countries world wide. If you don’t already have your Earth Day mapped out, here are a few ideas of things to do…

Eat Outside

Picnic for the planet

A world wide map of meetups for the Nature Conservancy's Picnic for the Planet.

Picnic for the Planet is a world wide collection of meetups organized by the Nature Conservancy.

Picnic for the Planet is a celebration of the planet we live on, the food it provides and the people we share it with. In short, the planet does a lot for us — we should take it out for lunch.

Join picnickers in Stamford, Connecticut, at Florida State University, or even ar-Ribat, Morocco to eat local produce and enjoy the sunshine in honor of the one place we all call home.

One Small Act

A billion acts of green

Just think of how much better off our planet would be if we all did just one green thing (or two or three)

Join the millions of people world wide who are answering the Earth Day Network’s call to “show your commitment to the Earth” by pledging to do at least one “act of green” each. The goal? A Billion Acts of Green that by their sheer number will start to turn the tide towards a better future. From acts as minor as changing out an incandescent light bulb for a compact florescent one, to steps as potentially life changing as– gasp– spending less time in front of the computer screen, folks are stepping up to the plate and then sharing their actions in hopes of inspiring everyone to join in.

Get Inspired

Earth Day posters

These posters, designed by Jacine Arias, are all made from recycled materials.

Head on down to Oklahoma City from April 20-25 to check out  Rethink. Recycle. Redesign. a juried art exhibition organized in collaboration with the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts in order to promote green design. Sprouting from MFA student Jacine Arias’ thesis work on sustainable design, the third annual show features the work of local artists and designers who have made work that transforms objects at the “end” of their useful cycles either into art.

Party On

Poster for earth Day in Portland, Oregon

Join this kid for a party celebrating Earth Day in Portland, Oregon.

If you are in or around Portland, OR this Saturday, The Earth Day Incorporated festival at the Washington High School field is the place to be. There will be circus fliers, there will be live music, there will be a kids’ village, there will be food… There will even be an aerial photograph taken of a living field painting in which all willing participants, along with recycled materials, will be carefully positioned to spell out “WE NEED YOU.”

Not to mention parties in NYC’s Times Square, Sun Ra and others jamming outdoors in San Fransisco and literally a month’s worth of happenings in Los Angeles. Or check the EPA comprehensive listing for stuff going on in your neck of the woods.

So get outside, everybody. And then lets us know what you did to celebrate the planet!

  • Thanks! Pass it along to anybody that you think might be interested… especially in the A Billion Acts of Green project. It’d be so cool if we could get everyone we know to sign up!

  • Hamlet

    Wish I had seen this earlier. Lots of good ideas. Thx.

  • Edonowitz

    Informative, highly engaging and inspirational. This is an article that everyone should read who cares about our continent. LOVED IT!!!