Happy Earth Day? Today is that one day a year when people come together to give back to the planet with the goal of making positive change. But let's talk about that for a second -- is one day really the best we can do for our 365 day/year home?
Earth Day started in 1970 as an environmental movement when talking about the "environment" wasn't your typical conversation piece, and it definitely wasn't getting time on the nightly news. Earth Day, in that time, served its purpose: it got the conversation started and made people aware of their true environmental impact.
Today, however, we know what's going on with our home, this big blue planet. Our lifestyles are wrecking havoc and we are consciously aware of what's going on out there. There's a water crisis, agricultural issues, climate change, and fracking-related side effects. And that's just to name a few.
We certainly don't want to take anything away from Earth Day. We appreciate the sentiment and the action taken! -- it is a dedicated day where businesses, nonprofits, media outlets, and individuals come together, reflect on their environmental impact, celebrate the earth and resolve to do better. It is a day that has the best intentions, but the reality is that a mere 24 hours after Earth Day we're back to our usual habits and focusing on the planet takes until next year for too many.
Effective, meaningful change isn't a process that is completed in the span of a single day. Our goal at 1% for the Planet is to connect businesses and nonprofits and support the work they are doing year-round. With over 1,200 businesses and 3,700 nonprofits worldwide, our movement is the biggest environmental network in the world (and still less than 2 percent of all philanthropy dollars go to the environment worldwide!) full of people that are working to make sure we have a healthy planet 24/7.
In our network, everyday is Earth Day, but you don't need to be an environmentalist to care about the planet. Just make the conscious effort to recognize that one day of planet love won't solve the problem. Our planet needs you to care everyday.
There are a million and one ways to do right by the planet each day. Say no to single use plastic bottles and bags. Give your time to an environmental cause that is affecting your local community. Vote with your dollars in the marketplace everyday by supporting companies that give back (we'll make it even easier: just look for the 1% FTP logo on a product and you're good to go). Let's make a pledge to pay attention.
So on April 22, let's celebrate Earth Day. But let's not forget to celebrate the planet the next day. Or on July 11 or December 3. Earth Day is a jumping off point where we can start thinking about our impact. Let's decide to remember the other 364, too.