Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day 2015: 21 Day Eco Challenge

    On CNN International HERE

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead 

Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day founder, saw an oil spill in California in 1969. Student anti-war movements were ablaze and Gaylord took that movement and combined it with consciousness about pollution.

Nelson, former US Senator, proposed a “teach-in on the environment” to the media. Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, became the co-chair and they both contacted Denis Hayes, who managed to coordinate a national staff of 85 to promote events across the United States.

As a result, 20 million Americans took to the streets.

The first Earth Day in 1970 led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day is honored around the world on April 22. It supports environmental programs, public commitment and builds community activism. It is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people take part.

Most people practice “Earth Day”, every day.

In February 2015, I began what I thought was going to be a small act of kindness. What entailed was a global 21 Day Eco Challenge that involved everyday people doing astounding things for our planet. I named the challenge “21 Day Eco Challenge: Co-Create, Rejuvenate, Recycle” and sent out an email a day via KindSpring.Org suggesting ways to help make our world a better place.

What occurred was massive! People posted stories of how they created artwork with garbage cleaned from yards and parks, instead of giving money they physically volunteered time in their communities, people changed heating and electrical systems in their homes, ceased using motorized vehicles, rid themselves of plastic, took more walks, involved their families, composted, recycled, cooked wholesome organic foods, and led community based programs on their own.

Every single day I was greeted with inspiration. Instead of me having to facilitate the movement, the members who joined the challenge created a community together and all of us shared our ideas, challenges, and lifestyles and we managed to change our lives, thus changing the lives of one another, thus helping to heal the environment.

To every single member of the Eco Challenge, pat yourself on the back and be proud of going above and beyond and for being an active part in the restoration of our planet.

Please take the time and view our 21 Day Challenge --> HERE.

You will learn something new, connect to caring, heartfelt people and most likely, start your own 21 Day Challenge that will inspire others.

Technology is a tool to be utilized and through technology I met, worked alongside and learned from beautiful individuals who simply care about the state of this planet for 21 days straight.

Every day, I read stories about what someone learned, shared, how they changed their lives, their communities, alongside photos and artwork and every day this quote by Mother Teresa played in my mind:

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

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