Earth Day

earth-day-2009

image: woodleywonderworks

by: Grayson Leverenz

On and around Wednesday April 22, Earth Day celebrations happen around the world. Earth Day invites people to honor the beauty of nature, and encourages them to preserve our natural resources through personal action. Since its origins in the 1970s, large numbers of people have participated in local, national and international Earth Day events. In fact, 2009 organizers of Earth Day events expect this year’s celebration to attract nearly 1 billion people in 180 countries, making it the largest nonreligious event in the world.

All eyes are on the new Obama administration, and his staff takes environmental responsibility seriously. Here’s a look at the President’s plan for Energy & the Environment.

The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:

  • Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
  • Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
  • Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
  • Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.”

Commitment from the top generates significant excitement. In addition to the government, nonprofits and even corporations are getting involved. SunChips and National Geographic partnered to create the Green Effect, “an initiative to inspire people to take small steps for big change.” They plan to award five $20,000 contributions to “people or groups that have compelling ideas for green change in their communities.” The contest starts on Earth Day. Click here to learn more and compete.

If a contest is a little out of your league, but you still want to do something to help, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s 9 Simple Steps to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Click here for my 2008 Earth Day post which includes ways to celebrate Earth Day here in the US.

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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