Monday, April 18, 2011

Maker Monday: Make A Difference for Earth Day

Photo from Trees for the Future on Flickr
[Charles] April 22nd is Earth Day - but I haven't heard much on the news this year? We're kind of growing numb to Earth Day as a society and it seems snarky negativism rules the airwaves. Why save the environment when the economy is in the toilet and all of the big companies just spew oil into the ocean, melt down their nukes, and turn Earth Day into a PR bonanza where they sell us some widget that is going to save the planet.

For me, I am completely frustrated with the current political state of our country and state and find it so hard to get excited about making a difference. I guess though, if I just lay down and stop fighting then they really do win.

So, instead of encouraging people to compost, or recycle, or to turn up your thermostat because I believe that most of us already are doing a lot, I want to encourage us to take a little bit of money and spin it into something positive. I'm advocating for what I believe is a very worthy environmental organization - one of the biggest groups involved in Earth Day - The Earth Day Network. They are doing really great work and I want people to get behind their call for A Billion Acts of Green, but especially their initiative called The Canopy Project.

Trees are really what got me into environmentalism as a kid. I remember seeing clearcut forests in my East Texas countryside and watching the trees get bulldozed and burned to make room for gas wells and sprawling pasture land. This project is planting trees in places that really can benefit from them and working with local groups to get it done. Places like Haiti, Brazil, and Mexico are all going to have plantings that will be tailored to the needs of the local communities. The group in Haiti is called Trees for the Future and they are planting beneficial trees on an island that has seen much of its good soil eroded through poor management of land and trees for generations. Take a few minutes to check them out or just get in there and drop $10 in their tank. These folks are making a difference and can use the support of all us that can't leave our under water mortgages and crappy commutes to join the fight in person.

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