Earth Day 2012

This June, in Rio de Janeiro, more than 120 presidents and prime ministers will get together for a meeting with much at stake for every person on our planet – and future generations. It’s the so-called Rio+20 Earth Summit and so far it’s gotten very little attention. But there’s still time to change that. In fact, the United States could take the lead, starting, perhaps on Earth Day this Sunday.
The idea behind the Earth Summits – this is the 20th anniversary of the first, also in Rio – is bold. Their mission is to make sure we don’t use up our resources and do irreparable harm to our planet as we move deeper into the 21st century world, a world where more people are demanding more of everything from cars and cell phones to planes and air-conditioned housing. Experts call this mission “sustainable development.” Right now, it couldn’t be more important. By mid-century, on our present course, our planet will have problems almost worthy of an apocalyptic Hollywood movie. Extreme climate will wreak havoc on our way of life, with increased floods, droughts and weather events. Whole swathes of territory will disappear. There will be increasingly scarce water, fuel and food as the world’s population swells. Rising pollution will harm human health.
Two decades ago (in contrast to today) the Rio Earth Summit was an exciting and much-publicized event. Countries and people around the world were enthusiastic, and believed its goals could be achieved. But that was then and now is now. The excitement has soured into frustrated cynicism, and for good reason. Many of the grand pledges and action plans from the first Rio Earth Summit haven’t been implemented. International gatherings in general have become synonymous with big talk and little action.

Earth Day 2012
Earth Day.

Washington – International Earth Day is being marked on Sunday while Google has also dedicated its homepage to mark the day world wide.
United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says “the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy, 30 per cent more water and many millions of new jobs”.
He stated this in his massage on the eve of the 40th Earth Day.
Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet Earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet. For instance, Bolivians call Mother Earth Pachamama and Nicaraguans refer to her as Tonantzin.
The proclamation of 22 April as International Mother Earth Day is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
This year in June, world leaders will gather at the Rio+20 sustainable development conference, to discus on two main themes – how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.
In official statement, The UN Secretary General says: “The annual observance of International Mother Earth Day honours our one and only planet and the place of human beings in it. It is also meant as a call to action against human disregard for nature’s life-supporting resources and ecosystems.”
He also stressed that in the next 20 years, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy, 30 per cent more water and many millions of new jobs.

Earth Day inspires and brings out different feelings, emotions and actions in each of us. We wanted to share with you some of our favorite Climate Mamas and Papas suggestions for Earth Day “to dos.” You may want to adopt some of these ideas and put them on your list of favorite family activities – for Earth Day or any day. All us Climate Mamas and Papas know that every day is and should be Earth Day!
1 – Get your “glee on” out in Nature. Get outside, sing a song, do a dance, have a picnic, BBQ, go camping, walk on the beach or take a hike. Whatever gets you there, gather your family and spend some time outdoors. Talk to you kids, introduce them to nature better yet, let them introduce nature to you! Remind yourself and the kids in your life of the treasures nature has given us, and why we need to fight so very hard to protect them.
2 – Memory Lane Walk Down the Red Carpet “Favorite Earth Day Movies”. Watch, enjoy, lose yourself in the moment and learn something too. Movies for everyone – The Lorax, Chimpanzee, Avatar, Planet Earth, Wall-E and March of the Penguins. Documentary movies for older kids and adults – Queen of the Sun-What are the Bees Telling Us? Tapped, Gasland, Bag It, An Inconvenient Truth, Revenge of the Electric Car, Moby Duck – Learn something important., and have fun at the same time.
3 – Spring Cleaning and Letting the Sun Shine In. Open the windows wide and get the kids to help you clean them. You’d be surprised to see what a difference a little water and vinegar, or even just a crumbled piece of newspaper can do to “shine up” and “clean up” your windows! Pack up winter clothes, in particular those that don’t fit anymore and give them to a local charity. Got other items you don’t need but someone else might use, consider selling them on Green eBay or giving them away at Craigslist, or Free Cycle! Get your kids to help you change the air filters in your air conditioner (maximum energy efficiency). Also, make sure there are no leaky faucets in or outside your house. Change your light bulbs to energy efficient CFLs or LEDs, and consider putting your outside lights on timers. Saving energy not only reduces power plant pollution but it can also save you money too.
4 – Get “Down and Dirty”. Plant a tree, or better yet plan a garden with the kids in your life. Vegetable, herb, or flower – the garden can be as big or small as you have room for…Herbs grow great on window sills, and corn, pumpkins and beans are fun and easy to cultivate and very cool to watch grow! Plant some milkweed and help the Monarchs find their way to Mexico. Have you heard of a rain garden? This is a “trending topic” all on it’s own and a great way to plan for and mitigate storm water run off that some of us are having to get used to as heavy rain events are becoming a more frequent occurrence of our changing climate. Consider getting a rain barrel too!
5 – Stand up to Climate Change. Show your kids you care about their future. Climate Impact Day is May 5, 2012. Protest, educate, document and volunteer along with thousands of people around the world to support the communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. Grab the kids in you life, right now and sign up and commit to a family “Act of Green,” show your kids that they are one of a billion people ready, willing and able to make the commitment to a “greener” world! Find out what and who are caring for the Earth in your own community. Check out your town’s website, and attend an Earth Day Fair or event near you, get involved! If you live in the NYC metro area, check out our Featured Partner, Earth Day New York.

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