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On April 22, 1970, Earth Day began as a movement to protest the Industrial Revolution and the harsh impact that it has had on our world. That day, 20 million people across the world took to the streets making it a movement of the people.
Today, over one billion people in approximately 192 countries will be partaking in Earth Day to some capacity, whether it is in schools or through volunteer initiatives. Some of the many countries are making it a priority to save clean water and air, preserving it through small works of effort that must stay active 365 days a year, not just one.
The following are some of the activities taking place in participating countries:
- In Argentina, volunteers from the Surfrider Foundation are cleaning up the local beaches and planting evergreens and Tamarisk shrubs to help prevent wind and water erosion.
- In Veracruz, Mexico, Tortugas Fundacion Yepez is mobilizing volunteers to protect the habitat of sea turtles by cleaning up the local beaches and organizing a reforestation campaign.
- In Santa Barbara, California, thousands of people attended the local Earth Day Festival, which included live music, speakers, a Green Car Show and special awards given to Van Jones and Bill Nye.
- In Milan, Italy, thousands of people are gathering for the Earth Day Italia Festival to learn about environmental issues and spur action on local green initiatives.
It has been researched and reported that many Latinos are naturally green due to their lifestyles growing up whether in their home countries or in the United States. Migrating to the United States was a move performed by Latinos on the poorer end of the scale, for the most part. Many lived without water, were farmers, didn’t have electricity in their homes, making use of what they had available, being resourceful and energy efficient.
Learning a lesson from immigrant family members could mean saving on energy, shrinking your carbon footprint and making wiser decisions for the Earth.
- If you don’t have a dishwasher, which saves on water, use a sink tub to soak and wash your dishes with extra hot water, which takes more energy to heat up. Doing it once will save on energy than keeping the faucet on and rinse with cold water.
- Wash your clothes in cold water for the same reason as stated above. Hot water takes more energy to heat up.
- Turn off your lights. Now that there is more light out, you don’t need lamps and lights on in the house. But when you do turn the lights on, be sure you turn them off when leaving the room.
- Have dinner with toda la familia! Feeding a large amount of people at once is efficient with little carbon impact. It’s also less expensive! Quality time wins.
- Remember getting everything done from laundry to grocery shopping in one day with mami and papi? Keep doing that. One day to run errands limits your back-and-forth efforts in gas and money. Choosing one day to get it all done is best.
- Dad always had a “new” used car. Remember that? Keeping your old car or buying used cars puts a limit on the creation of new cars. Hybrids actually take more energy to create than other cars. Driving your old car around for a few more years won’t hurt and will save on energy.
- Buy local foods. Many of our Latino ancestors came from agricultural backgrounds, eating foods of the Earth. Stick to it. Buy local, clean, organic produce. It’s better for your body and limits the energy in miles of produce coming from across the world.
- Walk, bike, leave your car for long distances and take public transportation. Some Latinos don’t have an option of a car, but are doing well for themselves and are greener by walking and taking public transportation. There’s no shame in riding the bus and you get to learn more about your community and people in it as well.