So it is Earth Day. This is not really a celebration day per say, but it is a day that makes us environmentally aware. Like Earth Hour on March 29th or Water Conservation day on March 22, these are days to make us aware of how our everyday actions effect the world now and for future generations.
The History Of Earth Day
It was 44 years ago today a grassroots initiative to make people more aware of the environment, of the earths natural resources and human consumption started. Earth Day was a day to rally on college campuses for environmental awareness. It was a rally for legislation to stop the abuse and pollution of our earth. The first Earth Day in Canada was in 1980, 10 years after the first one. Currently, April 22, is celebrated in 192 countries throughout the world and has sparked an environmental reform that will continue to change human behaviours towards our environment and implement policy changes for sustainability and reducing climate change.
How Earth Day Has Changed The World
Due to many legislation and policy changes, we are on the right track to improving the quality of our earth. Recycling has become mainstream and an expected part of living. There became a focus on global warming and a push towards clean energy. Solar panels were invented to harvest energy from the sun. Wind turbines are being used to harvest energy from the wind. Catalytic convertors became mandatory for all cars in the U.S.; and now we have hybrids and the first electric cars, better CFL light bulbs to reduce electricity use, geothermal heating etc. These are all created to reduce the pollution of our earth and the over use of natural resources.
Some Unhappy Changes Since Earth Day 1970
You want to know what Earth Day today has made us aware of? Due to the worlds ever growing population and consumerism, some of these Earth Day initiatives and policies are only a band-aid to the most current Earth Day issue of climate change. There are windling natural resources, increased global pollution, and deforestation on a massive scale – these are some of the truths that Earth Day reminds us of each year. So frustrating that with all of the efforts and focus on the individual and our habits, commercial pollution and over-use is still lagging behind.
- Approximately 5 million tons of oil produced in the world each year ends up in the ocean.
- Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of air pollution.
- Everyday in the United States, we produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building.
- At least 50 million acres of rainforest are lost every year, totaling an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined.
- Average temperatures will increase by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current pace.
- The U.S. is 5% of the world’s population but uses 25% of its natural resources. We use one million gallons of oil every two minutes.
- The U.S. has less than 4% of its forests left.
- Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months.
- One in four mammals is at risk of extinction – 78% of marine mammals are threatened by accidental deaths such as getting caught in fishing nets intended for other species. Source: http://www.resnet.us/library/what-is-earth-day/
What You Can Do For The Earth Today
By making simple changes your lifestyle and habits, you can achieve a lot.
- Recycle your household waste.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
- Compost food and yard waste to reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills.
- Conserve water in your home.
- Take public transit or walk more and leave the car at home.
- Set your printer default to “two-sided” to conserve paper
- Reduce purchasing pre-packaged foods – for your health as well as for the health of the environment
- Use more compostable material
- Replace non-native plants in and around your home and office with more indigenous plants to reduce use of water
- Reduce the use of harsh chemicals as these go into the drain and eventually enter back into our earth
What Professional Green Cleaning Is Doing For Earth Day
We in the cleaning industry believe in making our offices and buildings not only clean but safe and environmentally friendly. With our green cleaning practices such as paper and soap dispensers to reduce waste, microfiber cloths and mops for less chemical use and waste, spot cleaning carpets instead of frequent full carpet cleaning, we are bring to our customers our eco-friendly techniques. An LEED certified building recognizes that sustainability should be at the heart of all buildings, and we are experienced LEED certified building cleaners!
Thank you to our sources of Earth Day information and environmentally friendly cleaning.