The Daily Green received more than 400 pitches for Earth Day, to give readers one window on the marketing blitz that Earth Day has become, at least in some quarters. There are Earth Day hotel deals. There are to-go coffees that generate a few pennies for environmental causes. There's advice for celebrating Earth day at home, in the kitchen and even in your cubicle. There are companies announcing new sustainability initiatives, companies telling you to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up after your dog with a biodegradable "poop bag," and companies giving out condoms to raise awareness about endangered species (it's true). There are star-studded fundraisers and charitable auctions. There are iPhone apps, Websites, festivals, eco-fairs and stream cleanups. There's a new super green fish guide to take the mystery out of choosing safe, sustainable fish. There are many tips lists that each include one thinly veiled product pitch. There's great programming on television with an environmental theme (why was there never an "It's Earth Day Charlie Brown" special?). There's a carbon pawprint calculator for your pets. Some of these are worthy, some just marketing. Rather than list all of them, we are encouraging readers to do something that matters this Earth Day.
The Daily Green's Heart of Green Awards just celebrated some exceptional individuals who are helping green go mainstream. Our Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Ted Danson, gave an inspiring speech, in which he urged people to do something very simple this Earth Day (or any day): Become educated, and become an international activist. Signing a petition, donating a few dollars to a cause or learning about a major environmental issue is about the most important thing individuals can do this Earth Day. So we are highlighting some of the worthy causes you could join. Happy 40th Birthday Earth Day!
Join the national call to action on comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation
The NRDC, which is lead by The Daily Green's 2009 Heart of Green Lifetime Achievement Award winner France Beinecke, is leading an effort to tell Congress that Americans want to take action on climate change. So write a letter to your representatives, sign the NRDC's petition, or join the Climate Rally April 25.
Support the Safe Chemical Act
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) has just introduced a bill to reform chemical regulations in the United States, so that the health effects of the 80,000 chemicals introduced into commerce in the last 50 years or so will be more thoroughly tested before Americans are exposed. It's a cause that our 2010 Heart of Green Award winner Dr. Philip Landrigan supports. Sign this Environmental Working Group petition in support of the act.
Buy a ticket for Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival
Clearwater is one of the oldest environmental organizations working on clean water, environmental justice and healthy fisheries on the Hudson River. Its annual Revival event features a full weekend of music, along with a healthy does of activism. It's inspiring, and the money benefits a very worthy cause. Plus, Pete Seeger, the group's founder, is awesome. Tickets range from $40-80 at ClearwaterFestival.org.
It's National Volunteer week, as well as Earth Week, so get out and do some good in your community. The Earth Day Network is a good place to start to search for local initiatives.
If you have another worthy nonprofit cause, put it in the comments below.
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