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Earth Day: every day and everywhere
Even though Earth Day has its critics, this annual April 22 eco-event still seems to motivate people from all over the world to take action for the environment.
From Afghanistan to Ecuador to Italy, ecologically concerned citizens are planning to celebrate Earth Day 2000 by staging rallies, holding workshops, planting trees and cleaning up trash from riverbanks and beaches.
Here is a selection of some of the interesting events taking place around the globe during the Earth Day timeframe. Maybe you will feel inspired, too.
The Coral Reef Alliance, the Center for Marine Conservation and several other organizations are sponsoring Dive In To Earth Day during the Earth Day week April 16-22 to encourage divers and snorkelers all over the planet to take a swim for the Earth and its oceans.
The Dive In is expected to be the largest diving event in history and will involve a host of marine awareness activities including fish and reef surveys, underwater and beach cleanups, building artificial reefs and installing mooring buoys.
The organizers of the Dive In hope that dive operators, travel companies, dive equipment manufacturers and water sport retailers will get involved as well since their livelihood depends water health. For more information, contact Anita Daley at email@example.com.
Energy to win
In honor of Earth Day, the Alliance to Save Energy will give away more than 100 energy-saving prizes during its Earth Day Energy Efficiency Web Contest.
Through this online contest, ASE hopes to generate understanding about the large role energy consumption plays in the big pollution picture. Before filling out the entry form, participants are required to take a quick quiz to test their general knowledge of energy consumption and its influence on the environment. Any and all are invited to register for the contest and can do so once every day through April 28 the winners will be drawn that night.
Prizes include a Whirlpool Resource Saver clothes washing machine, a Whirlpool Conquest side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, a Black and Decker electric mower and many energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs from Sylvania and BULBlite.
Radio free ZPG
Zero24-7 Web Radio, the web-based radio station started by the environmental organization Zero Population Growth, has lots of activities planned for the 30th anniversary of Earth Day.
About two to three weeks before the big day, the disc jockeys will begin broadcasting a series of one-minute clips containing suggestions for listeners about what they can do to celebrate Earth Day. These will include recycling tips and the like.
Another series of shorts to be played during this time frame will let the audience know the "what, where and when" of Earth Day events all over the world.
On April 21, the station will feature only songs that touch on environmental issues and a few that simply contain the word "green."
On Earth Day itself, the Zero24-7 deejays will provide full coverage of the EarthFair celebration that will take place in Washington, D.C. ZPG correspondents will also call in with reports on events in other parts of the United States and around the world.
In the spirit of fuel efficiency, Earth Day Network, the top coordinating body for April 22 Earth Day activities, is hosting another online Earth Day giveaway. Their prize is a Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle to combine an efficient gasoline engine with a powerful electric motor that automatically recharges as the car is driven. The U.S. version of this car runs 86 percent cleaner than is required by federal standards.
To enter, go to the Earth Smart Car Giveaway web page. Entries will be accepted through April 21 and the winner will be announced on the Earth Day Network web site April 22. Be sure to read the contest rules.
The Prius sweepstakes is not the only way the Earth Day Network is promoting Earth Day 2000. On March 22, the network launched its 30-day countdown to Earth Day's 30th anniversary featuring 30 U.S. communities where individuals will be honoring the big day by taking action around the theme of 30.
For example, at Los Altos High School in Mountain View, California, students are raising money to buy at least 30 CO2 pollution credits and retire them so companies can't use them to pollute anymore.
At the University of Boulder, Colorado, campus 30 departments will attach environmental pledges written on paper cutouts shaped liked leaves to an artificial tree that will be replaced with a real tree for Earth Day.
The 30-day countdown also involves international participants as well.
The Society for Afghanistan Volunteer Environmentalists, also known as SAVE, is hosting Earth Day events in refugee camps in Peshawar, Pakistan, to raise awareness of environmental issues among Afghan refugees. The organization is also coordinating tree-plantings, cleanups, and other events to improve the environment in these camps. For more information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Ambato, Ecuador, members of the academic, business and municipal communities are teaming to sponsor the "Put a Pot of Flowers on Your Doorstep" campaign to commemorate Earth Day. In the weeks preceding Earth Day 2000, participants will plant trees and flowers and repair walkways all around the city in honor of the mayoral inauguration ceremony that will take place on April 22. On that day, local businesses will also present the city with flowers.
As a part of its Cities Without Cars campaign, the private Italian environmental organization Legambiente is sponsoring the closure of nearly 1,000 streets all over Italy April 8-9. The aim of this early Earth Day event is to raise awareness of air pollution problems and to educate people about alternative means of transportation. In Rome, for example, the streets near the Colosseum and Roman Forum will be off-limits to motorized vehicles, and the area will be transformed into a giant open-air playground, with entertainment, games, food and educational information. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Enersol, the non-profit organization that promotes solar energy use in rural and developing countries, is organizing an Earth Day Fair in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where activities will focus on the use of solar cookers. The event will include presentations by local women and demonstrations on how to build solar cookers. During the week prior to Earth Day, radio stations will broadcast a game show on the theme of the environment and energy, and all high schools in the city will be involved in a week's worth of renewable energy activities.
This selection barely scratches the surface. For more about Earth Day activities around the globe and in your neighborhood, visit the Earth Day Network Events web page or contact your local environmental and educational organizations.
Copyright 2000, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved
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