In 1970, the first Earth Day inspired 20 million people to turn out for everything from sit-ins to a traffic-stopping march down New York's 5th avenue. With the passing of the 39th annual Earth Day and Earth Week, does Earth Day still matter? Green Living Magazine asked six Environmentalists this very question. While all readily agree there is still an importance to Earth Day focusing on awareness of the environment and most recently on sustainability issues, I can't help finding myself wanting to step on to my soap box and propose, Why not make everyday Earth Day? I agree with Pam Schwartzberg, executive director of Learning for a Sustainable Future, the day is useful for engaging individuals and groups, but it usually is just a one-off activity like a lunchtime display. If one wishes to be truly constructive and make their actions meaningful, then one should spend more than just one day focusing on the environment. It's just like Valentine's Day, if you only say I Love You one day out of the year, how meaningful can the three little words really be? If you only recycle on Earth Day, how are you truly reducing your carbon foot print?
Pam Schwartzberg also proposes a whole month to do something constructive and meaningful - beginning with Earth Hour and culminating with Earth Day. While Craig and Layla Baird of Alberta, Canada celebrated Earth Day 2008 by implementing 365 green ideas one green day at time. If we all meet in the middle and simply implement 10, 20, or even 30 things in our lives we will make a difference. Craig and Layla point out that you can still enjoy your current level of living while helping the Earth. They agree adjustments have to be made, but it is possible to be green and not get completely away from civilization. Craig and Layla learned that sustainable living doesn't mean you have to live in a mud hut in the forest with no electricity or heat.
With the help of the World Wide Web, the world's increased focus on the environment has become a year-round event. Hence, the launch of the Creative Loafing Green Community devoted to everything green. Don't forget Facebook and Twitter, there's tons of groups and volunteers pleading for donations and assistance. These days it is much easier to get involved, stay involved and make a difference more than just one day of the year. A few green Web 2.0 initiatives mentioned on Green Living Magazine are Replanting the Rainforest, charity: water, #earthtweet, One Million Acts of Green, 350 and Earth Hour.