Tomorrow, April 22nd, will mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, a particularly important day for Serendipity. As Colorado’s first catering company to be recognized as going above and beyond when it comes to implementing green practices – we attained Certifiably Green Denver status in 2010, we thought it would be fun to explore new ways to celebrate the global holiday, so we got down to Earth Day’s lineage, which began not too long ago…
Earth Day was orginally celebrated in 1970. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson’s outrage over a large oil spill in California inspired the grass roots holiday. This, coupled with end of the protest-happy flower child era of 1960s, and the public’s general concern for the Earth and the tolls our modern lifestyle had taken got the first Earth Day off to an active start. Senator Nelson was able to recruit other Congressmen and eventually take on board a staff of eighty-five specialists who would hold educational demonstrations across the United States. The movement quickly took off and on April 22, 1970, 20 million concerned Americans gathered for rallies supporting sustainable living practices, and against those practices that contribute to the decline of the environment. The first Earth Day also inspired the then newly formed United States Environmental Protection Agency, which introduced Acts such as, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Act for Endangered Species. By 1990 the world had taken notice of the universal environmental issues and Earth Day (April 22nd) went global… the rest is (recent) history.
Celebrating Earth Day
Today Earth Day is celebrated in many ways in over 180 nations. For example, thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Earth Day 2000 to send world leaders the loud and clear message of the need for quick and decisive action on clean energy. In 2011, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan by the Earth Day Network; in 2012 over 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel; and in Panama, 100 endangered species of orchids were planted and maintained to prevent their extinction in honor of Earth Day. With an Earth Day event in almost every major US city, educators, businesses of all sizes, and people being concerned about the Earth every day, we think it is safe to say that Earth Day has caught on (and has been mighty effective).
Earth Day is all about awareness and educating people with new ways to help protect our enviroment. Look for ways to get even more people involved in Earth Day and it could easily become a celebration! A few Serendipity ideas:
Earth Day the Office:
Organize with co-workers to ride bikes to work for the day (and possibly designate a day every week to the continue the cause), then follow up with a healthy, locally sourced breakfast to start the day.
Recycle work clothes and host a drive for an organization like Dress for Success. Follow up with after work-hours local beer tasting, and invite co-workers organize a day to have the company volunteer at any of these local green charities.
Give an afternoon of work to over-hauling old office equipment: fax machines, computers, phone systems, and laptops that have sitting in an over-stuffed closet can be recycled! One million recycled laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year, and for every million cell phones recycled, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds palladium can be recovered.
Have fun and “go dark” for the day. That means no lights on. See how far open window blinds and daylight can get you. Perhaps after the experiment is over, the office can agree to keep the lights off for a few hours every workday. When the lights are back on, make the switch to LED bulbs.
Earth Day at Home
Start composting! It is much easier than you think, and thanks to the internet, there are plenty of resources to help get started.
Compete for the Earth! Who can make the least amount of trash in a week or collect the most cans. Have a prize to up the ante. Or get everyone to reduce your electricity bill for the month. Kids can make games of turning off lights, and unplugging rarely used appliances. If the family is successful, suggest spending the saved money on something fun like a trip to the amusement park, or movie night.
Plant something new in your yard. A tree, new flowers, or fresh vegetables to be ready for summer. Bonus if you plant flowers the attract honeybees.
Arrange a swap meet in your neighborhood. Invite friends and neighbors to bring their (in good condition) outgrown clothes, toys, sports equipment, cookware, or even small furniture items for a swap. Anything left over can be donated, or recycled.
(Stay tuned this Friday, April 24th, to hear the results for our award nomination from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for Green Business of the Year! We are thrilled to be a part of the Denver Green community and looking forward to celebrating with all the finalists.)
However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, make it as green as possible and fun! Happy Earth Day from all of us at Serendipity.