Top / Earth Day Organizers Guide / 008 Putting Energy Into Your Earth Day Plans


Putting Energy Into Your Earth Day Plans

Earth Day 2001 Theme:Clean Energy

Earth Day Network is working to bring about national, local, and individual energy practices that produce far less carbon dioxide and no radioactive waste. Fueled by citizen-power, we aim to weave sustainable energy practices into the political and economic establishment.
Here’s why: the way humans produce and use energy connects to almost every major environmental issue. Our wasteful use of outdated energy sources contributes to climate change, oil spills, nuclear waste, acid rain, air pollution, species loss, and other serious environmental problems.

The time is long overdue to begin a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy sources such as the sun and wind. In addition, we can help the environment by getting more value from the energy we use. Energy efficiency saves money, benefits the economy, creates new jobs, and protects human health. Existing technology can reduce energy consumption in most countries by a factor of four or more.

Together we can achieve a future of clean, renewable, affordable energy sources. Please see the website at http://www.earthday.net for the latest on the Clean Energy campaign and how you can participate.

Constituency-Specific Guides to Enhance Your Organizing

Earth Day Network has resource guides for a range of constituencies:

BUSINESS

By pursuing environmentally sound business practices, companies not only help the earth but also improve productivity, boost employee morale, increase customer satisfaction, and save money.

The Business and Energy guide lists Earth Day project ideas for businesses, outlines green energy strategies, and profiles energy-saving businesses.

COMMUNITIES

Cities and other local communities are on the front lines of the battle to reverse environmental deterioration. Through a combination of simple conservation measures, new technologies, elbow grease, and vision, amazing changes are being implemented worldwide.
The Communities and Energy guide describes smart energy policies at the local level that can benefit both communities and society-at-large. It includes a summary of local green energy strategies, Earth Day energy project ideas, and resources for further information.

UNIVERSITIES

Since the first Earth Day in 1970, university and college students have been passionate advocates for environmental protection. Student activism has been a key contributor to the successes of the environmental movement, and a source of innovative Earth Day activities. Keep the momentum going!

To get ideas for awesome environmental organizing on campus, check out the Earth Day on Campus guide.

K-12 SCHOOLS

K-12 schools are laying the foundation for lifelong environmental citizenship. The Earth Day Education Program in the United States provides free environmental curricular materials for grades K-12, used year-round by teachers all over the country. The network of educators who have signed up to be Earth Day Coordinators at their schools is more than 75,000 strong and represents over 60% of the nation’s schools.

Visit Teachers Corner at Earth Day Network’s website for downloadable guides and lots of web links to further instructional tools.

FAITH

Many groups of all religious faiths have begun to embrace an ecological mission as a fundamental component of their worship, celebrations, or other activities. Religious organizations can lead the way in planetary stewardship.

Earth Day’s Stewardship of Creation guide offers a variety of practical ways that communities of faith can care for creation.

All of these resource materials are available for download at http://www.earthday.net

Clean Energy: Take Action

Know your gas-guzzler:The first step to cleaner cars is understanding how much they pollute. Calculate your vehicle’s emissions.

http://192.111.219.6/cgibin/TailpipeTally.pl

(Environmental Defense)

Buy smart:Consider a fuel-efficient model when purchasing a new car? it will help the earth AND your pocketbook. http://www.fueleconomy.gov

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, Fuel Economy Guide)

Give automakers a nudge:Congress sets fuel-efficiency standards for cars, but there’s a huge loophole that makes it okay for manufacturers to produce gas-thirsty SUVs. Urge automakers to get serious about fuel efficiency and to manufacture fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles.

http://www.nrdc.org/earthsmartcars/index.html

(Natural Resources Defense Council)

Change a few light bulbs:Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, then watch your electricity savings mount! For each compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) that replaces a standard bulb, you'll save $25 to $45?or more?over the life of the bulb, while doing good to Mama Earth.

http://www.energystar.gov/products/cflbulbs.html

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star Program)

Take a shortcut to savings:Use the Energy Star store locator to find a store near you that sells CFLs and other energy-efficient products.

http://www.energystar.org/stores/storelocator.asp

(U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE, Energy Star)

Rein in your heating bills:Start with cheap and easy fixes, then focus on longer-term solutions that can cut your heating bills by up to 50%.

(http://www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/ documents/high_heating_bills.html)

(U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network)

Reduce your use:Calculate the greenhouse gas pollution from your electricity use, then learn more great ways you can cut your share of heattrapping emissions at home and work.

http://www.ase.org/checkup/index/html

(Alliance to Save Energy)

Choose Green Power:Purchase your electricity from a "green" energy company, if available in your state.

http://www.green-e.org/switch/index.html

(Green-e)

Organize close to home:Learn how coal-fired power plants affect your state’s air quality, and link with organizations that are working on your region’s power plant pollution problem.

http://www.cleartheair.org/regional/?PROACTIVE_ID=cecfcfcfcccac7cfc8c5cecfcfcfc5cecfcbcfccc8c8c6cdcec5cf or http://www.cleartheair.org

(Clear the Air )

Express yourself:Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the threat of power plants to your community’s health.

http://pirg.org/enviro/cleanair/fact.htm

(U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, Clean Air Program)

Learn about Energy and Environmental Justice:The burdens of our energy system do not fall equally on all. Our current energy system takes an especially heavy financial and environmental toll on low-income communities and communities of color. (See Appendix A)
Over 50 diverse groups from across the U.S. have come together to express common concerns and solutions for our energy system. For more on energy and justice, see the statement on how energy impacts low-income and minority communities.

http://repp.org/articles/ej

(Renewable Energy Policy Project)

Tell ‘em, "No Nukes":Some people advocate nuclear energy as an alternative to coal-burning plants that release heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Yet nuclear power is an environmental and health time bomb. Besides the risk of catastrophic nuclear accidents, it produces wastes that will remain active for hundreds of thousands of years.

http://www.earthday.net/goals/nonukes.stm

("No Nuclear" Campaign ? Earth Day Network, World Information Service on Energy, and Nuclear Information and Resource Service)

Fund progress:Many nations in other parts of the world are just beginning to develop energy systems. Introducing renewable energy would be costeffective and environmentally sound. Yet international funding agencies are still backing major fossil-fuel projects. Encourage a shift to funding renewable energy systems.

("Fund Clean Energy" Campaign ? Earth Day Network, Rainforest Action Network, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, and Friends of the Earth)

Don’t blow it:The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the only portion of America’s Arctic that is unspoiled?so far?by oil drilling. Drilling would only yield a small amount of oil, while damaging a pristine ecosystem. A far better alternative: energy efficiency and renewable energy. Urge oil companies to invest in the energy technologies that will power our future.

http://pirg.org/alerts/alert.asp?id=12

(U.S. Public Interest Research Groups)

These can be done as part of an ongoing campaign, or as part of your Earth Day plans.


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