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Earth from Mars

Earth from Mars

After the wettest, coldest, most flooded period for many years, a time that began in Britain about a year ago as the forecast drought triggered hose pipe bans and talk of summer rationing, it’s time to focus on the environment again.

Lots of people are somewhat sceptical about global warming now. Many were before the past twelve months. But the fact is that we live on a planet that is changing rapidly ecologically as well as economically and environmentally. Or is it?

What Is Earth Day?

It began in the 1970s from interest in environmental issues in the USA. Two separate activists asked citizens to join in ‘grassroots demonstrations’ of support. One chose the spring equinox, the other 22 April. It is the latter date that continues to be marked across the globe.

22,000 partners in 192 countries do things to mark the event and focus thinking. Some estimates reckon 500 million people join in. It’s frequently the planting of trees and other vegetation that is chosen to make an impact. But campaigns, theatre, videos, media appearances, eco-building and new recycling projects are also called upon.

Earth Day activities for groups, families and children are widely suggested, and many have an international flavour. It’s probably all win-win, because it can only benefit our now and our children’s tomorrows. Of course, there’ll always be those with differing agendas who will dismiss it all as nonsense. It can’t all be off the wall, can it?

What Can An Individual Do?

Everybody can do something, even those who do not want to get caught up in a lot of group activity. Back in 2006, Collin Dunn writing on TreeHugger suggested 25 ways we can do our bit. Others have pushed the line that everybody changed one thing today, what an impact that would have collectively.

He suggested people:

  • get a human powered lawn mower (‘they really work’);
  • compost waste;
  • buy clothes from organic cotton;
  • ride a bicycle;
  • use eco-friendly household cleaners;
  • avoid the tumble dryer;
  • use rechargeable batteries;
  • eat organic fruits, vegetables and dairy;
  • buy local products;
  • fill your kitchen wit bamboo!;
  • get a space heater!;
  • buy products made of recycled paper, wood and so on;
  • use draft excluders;
  • install low-flow toilets and frugal flushers;
  • use filtered tap water in recycled bottles;
  • retain rainwater for gardens;
  • use plastic boxes for food rather than clingfilm and
  • don’t buy cut flowers, but a potted one instead.

Doesn’t Technology Help the Planet Too?

At MBF Blogs we like to think that saving files over the net helps save the planet. That emails are environmentally sound practice. We have contributed to the debate with articles about data, green issues and related topics.

Nobody Cares That Emails Are Not as Cheap As They Look for the Environment, 1 October 2012

What If the Cloud Was a Country, How Green Would It Be?, 20 February 2013

No Green Credentials for Computer Scammers and Internet Pirates, 23 January 2013

Weathering the Data Storm: The Strange Case of the University of East Anglia ‘Climategate’ Scandal, 24 July 2012

Do Emails Cost the Earth? 20 July 2011

Other sites useful for Earth Day and the environment:

Earth Day Central
Earth Day History
Earth Day org
Earth Day Network
Earth Day Photos: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Treehugger, Collin Dunn, 25 Ways to Save the Planet, April 2006

Image: NASA