Did you know that April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week? We’d love to hear about your volunteer experiences this week and the ways you and your organization give back to the community throughout the year. Drop us a line at the end of this post, or catch up with us on Twitter.
In 1992, the animated film FernGully based its storyline around the deforestation of rainforests and the destruction of its habitats. Despite the fact that (spoiler alert!) the rainforests are saved by a nation of fairies and a loony fruit bat played by Robin Williams, the message of conservation was—and still is—rather poignant. Couple this film experience with the weekly cartoon adventures of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, and it’s evident that from a young age, I had a heightened awareness of the natural world around me.
With each episode, Captain Planet’s parting words of “the power is yours!” encouraged viewers to put their thoughts into action. His message was heard—20 years later, sustainability has become the name of the game. From nonprofit startups to large corporations, whether we are trying to measure our carbon footprints or simply figure out if that to-go container is compostable, we are more eco-aware than ever before.
Perhaps nothing demonstrates this awareness as powerfully as the exponential growth of Earth Day. The first celebration of Earth Day was on April 22, 1970, and an estimated 20 million Americans participated in what was originally an environmental teach-in. Since then, the grassroots movement has spread dramatically. By 1990, it had expanded internationally, and in 2000, the event enlisted more than 5,000 environmental groups outside the US, reaching people in 184 countries. One source even estimates that over 1 billion people across the globe participated in 2010.
The growing awareness and participation for Earth Day also spreads knowledge about ways that we can protect the planet. Any effort—from reducing shower time to installing energy-saving light bulbs—helps to preserve our natural resources. However, making these changes can be more rewarding and engaging when there’s also a sense of solidarity that accompanies our efforts. If you happened to miss Earth Hour this year on March 31, Earth Day 2012 is a great way to participate in the conservation effort.
How will we spend Earth Day? Projectline will be volunteering with the environmental group EarthCorps at the Duwamish Alive event on April 21, working to restore habitats along a vital river in the Puget Sound. We’ll be cleaning up debris and replanting native species of plants along the areas that surround the Green River and Duwamish Waterway. If you’re interested in joining, please email iVolunteer@projectlineinc.com. And if you’re feeling a wee bit weary after a fulfilling day of stewardship, you can relax with a wonderful film to support an endangered species. Happy Earth Day!
“Every creature is better alive than dead,
men and moose and pine trees,
and he who understands it aright
will rather preserve its life than destroy it.”
—Henry David Thoreau