Happy Earth Day!
For forty-one years, we’ve been celebrating Earth Day. And what started as a celebration, is now a cause. Now more than ever, with climate change at our doorstep, we need to take the idea of Earth Day, and truly act on it – not just for a day, but for the entire year.
We can’t say “Happy Earth Day” and move on to the next big thing tomorrow. It’s not a slogan or a holiday; it’s a reminder that the earth can’t be taken for granted. Its resources are finite and we can not selfishly beat it to death and leave it for the next generation to clean up. This is especially true today.
So what can we do? If we can all work together the end result can be revolutionary. Why not us? Why can’t we be the ones to solve this?
The vision would be a world where environmental sustainability and responsibility is the norm on a personal, corporate and government level. Everyone is on the same page, working together as best we can to solve this. There is no debate, just a commitment.
So, let’s operate together on a few different levels, starting today:
* First, change our own habits and inspire others to do the same. Measure your carbon footprint and do whatever you can do to decrease it. Understanding and minimizing your carbon footprint is easy and makes a huge difference with little sacrifice. Inspire your family and your company to do the same. Here’s a start: Join Gretchen Bleiler’s 21 Day Reusable Challenge. It’s a fun way to kick your dependency on single-use plastics. It starts today, so try it: www.21dayreusablechallenge.com
* Make your purchase power work for the greater good. If you work for a consumer products company, ask them if they’re committed to running a sustainable business, working with like-minded partners and producing products that are environmentally-responsible. But also, are they leveraging their corporate weight to influence policy?
And as a consumer, purchase smart. Do your homework about which companies are doing it the right way and focus your buying power accordingly. Soon, companies will realize that green products are good business. Use the Good Guide before you shop: www.goodguide.com
* Find out what your Congressmen and Senators’ stances are on the environment; make sure they know that anything less than a commitment to clean energy legislation is unacceptable. Our elected officials have the biggest lever in terms of climate solutions and their opinions are shaped by their constituencies. Our dependence on oil and coal is why we’re in the mess and our local, state and federal officials have the power to shift budgets and priorities to make clean energy a reality. But they won’t do it if they don’t hear from us and understand that it’s good for them politically to support it. Send them a letter now and use your power at the voting booth as soon as you can.
* Teach the children. If there is one thing we do, let’s make sure the next generation is smarter than we are. Start now to teach kids about their connection with the environment and inspire them to solve climate change, so it’s second nature for our future leaders and corporate executives.
And we hope you will continue to support POW so we can mobilize together, as a united winter sports community fighting climate change on as many fronts as it takes. We need your support, and we’ll make a difference together.
Written by Chris Steinkamp
Executive Director, Protect Our Winters