For more than 40 years, Earth Day has been a day to get your hands dirty—or wet! No act of green or blue is too small. Whether you choose to plant a tree or pledge to use less water, small collective acts add up. They also help raise awareness and inspire protection of the Earth and its ocean.
It is no surprise that some of the students who gathered at the Smithsonian in February 2011 for the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts are planning actions for Earth Day, held annually every April 22. This week I caught up with a couple of the groups to find out how they’re marking the day.
First, forget Earth Day. The students from the Veracruz Aquarium in Mexico are celebrating the entire week. They’re visiting schools and teaching students about the ocean’s influence on climate. In addition to leading climate change educational activities, they’re enlisting their peers in upcoming beach sweeps and reforestation projects in Veracruz.
Oysters have been on the mind of the Texas State Aquarium team of students. At an Earth Day-Bay Day event at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the students taught visitors about the effects of climate on oyster populations in south Texas. The team staffed a booth with oyster shells, coloring sheets with fun oyster facts, and face-painting (featuring sea creatures, of course!). The team spoke with visitors about the importance of oysters and oyster reefs to the local environment. What’s next? They are presenting at two more festivals in May.
The teens from Veracruz and Texas put some serious time and effort into planning their Earth Day activities. If you are still looking for a way to get involved here are some ideas:
- Pledge an Act of Green: This website by the Earth Day Network suggests activities and local events, and lets you register your Earth Day pledge.
- Pick 5 for the Environment with the EPA: Choose five actions you will take for Earth Day and then check out the global mapping visualization of pledges.
- Ask the White House about Plans for a Green Future: Submit your questions to White House officials in a live webcast/Facebook event on April 22, 2011.
- Dive for Earth Day: Divers are encouraged to take action on Earth Day.
You can also consult the Ocean Portal's "This Earth Day, Think Blue" blog post.
So what are you doing for Earth Day? Brag a little--and tell us all about it in the comment space below.