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April 22 – Earth Day

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". . . on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was held, one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy. . . " – American Heritage Magazine, October 1993

How the First Earth Day Came About
By Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day

What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked.

Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.

I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation’s political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.

After President Kennedy’s tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me – why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?

I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.

At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air – and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.

Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:

"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation’s campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…when a nationwide environmental ‘teach-in’…coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned…."

It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities.

Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.


Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet. is a cooperative effort across the entire U.S. government.

"Commitment with accountability closes the gap between intention and results."
Sandra Gallagher, Co-Author of Thinking Into Results

Portland: The Greenest City in the US

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Portland is the Greenest Gity in the United States.

The SustainLane U.S. city rankings factor in each city’s ability to maintain healthy air, drinking water, parks and public transit systems, as well as a robust, sustainable local economy with green building, farmers markets, renewable energy and alternative fuels.

SustainLane: The 2008 US City Rankings

You’ll find extensive coverage on the greening of the 50 most-populous cities in the nation on these pages, and the most complete report card on urban sustainability in America. This report benchmarks each city’s performance in 16 areas of urban sustainability, including an essential new measurement this year: Water Supply. Forged in 2005 and now in its third edition, the peer-reviewed Rankings track the unfolding story of cities working to improve their residents’ quality of life. In this story, some cities are becoming more self-reliant and better prepared for an uncertain future, while others have been slow to act on opportunities to green their municipalities. Get started now with a closer look at our methodology, or a review of what makes a sustainable city.

1. Portland, Oregon — A Role Model for the Nation

Portland, OR: A Role Model for the Nation

If you live in Portland, you might want to think twice before complaining about the 40-plus inches of rain dumped on your head every year. It might be the only thing keeping the entire country from moving to your city by the Prius-load. Portland retained its title as SustainLane’s number one city to beat this year–not surprising given that it got a 30-year jump on the rest of the country. That’s right: city-planners in Portland have been thinking green since the 70s, when the rest of the country was still embracing the strip mall. The city enacted strict land-use policies, implementing an urban growth boundary, requiring density, and setting a strong precedent for sustainable development. The city’s natural beauty is hard to beat, too. But Portlanders aren’t resting on their laurels. According to the city’s sustainable development director, Portland aims to be a "20 Minute City" — where residents spend 20 or less minutes traveling from home to work, shop or play.

"Portland’s support of local farmers and farmers’ markets; its explosion of green buildings and commitment to renewable energy, and its emphasis on mass transportation, including light rail and bicycles, shows that a city can not only be kind to the earth, but also flourish economically and grow by being green." –Mayor Tom Potter, September 2008


Say “NO” to Plastic Bags

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Say "NO" to Plastic Bags

Data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.
– National Geographic News September 2, 2003

"Less than 1% of bags are recycled. It costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one."
– Christian Science Monitor newspaper

“There’s harsh economics behind bag recycling: It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32.”
– Jared Blumenfeld, Director of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment

So… where do the plastic bags go?

"Bags get blown around… to different parts of our lands… and to our seas, lakes and rivers. Bags find their way into the sea via drains and sewage pipes."
–, November 16, 2007

"A study in 1975, showed oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. The real reason that the world’s landfills weren’t overflowing with plastic was because most of it ended up in an ocean-fill."
– U.S. National Academy of Sciences

"Plastic bags have been found floating north of the Arctic Circle near Spitzbergen, and as far south as the Falkland Islands."
– British Antarctic Survey

"Plastic bags account for over 10 percent of the debris washed up on the U.S. coastline."
– National Marine Debris Monitoring Program

"Plastic bags photodegrade: Over time they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers, which eventually contaminate soils and waterways. As a consequence microscopic particles can enter the food chain."
– November 16, 2007 

"The effect on wildlife can be catastrophic. Birds become terminally entangled. Nearly 200 different species of sea life including whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags. They die after ingesting plastic bags which they mistake for food."
– World Wildlife Fund Report 2005

If we use a CLOTH bag, we can save 6 bags a week!
That’s 24 bags a month!
That’s 288 bags a year!!
That’s 22,176 bags in an average life time!!!

If just 1 out of 5 people in our country did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags over our life time.

Bangladesh has banned plastic bags.
– March 8, 2007

China has banned free plastic bags.
– January 9, 2008

Ireland took the lead in Europe, taxing plastic bags in 2002 and have now reduced plastic bag consumption by 90%.
– BBC News August 20, 2002

In 2005 Rwanda banned plastic bags.
– Associated Press

Israel, Canada, western India, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan, and Singapore  have also banned or are moving toward banning the plastic bag. February 16, 2008

On March 27th 2007, San Francisco becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic bags. (National Public Radio)

Oakland and Boston are considering a ban.
– The Boston Globe May 20, 2007

Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethylene: a thermoplastic made from oil.
– November 16, 2007

Reducing plastic bags will decrease foreign oil dependency.

China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags.
– January 9, 2008

It is possible…

Do something DRASTIC – stop using PLASTIC!

SciFi Channel’s Visions for Tomorrow

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Visions for Tomorrow brings together leaders in science, technology, art, architecture, education and policy to champion a fresh and hopeful outlook on the future and to advance the idea that individuals can affect significant and positive change.

Recognizing the rapid pace at which yesterday’s science fiction is becoming today’s and tomorrow’s science fact, SCI FI Channel has launched a new public affairs initiative, Visions for Tomorrow, to inspire individuals, organizations, corporations and policymakers to meet the growing challenges of the future.

With the prevalence of war and global terrorism, the increasing frequency of natural disasters, and the impact of overpopulation and environmental degradation, there is growing public concern over our ability to solve these seemingly intractable problems. To address these powerful challenges, SCI FI believes the world needs — now more than ever — an optimistic vision of the future.

Through on-air public service announcements, off-channel symposia, Web sites, educational curricula and advocacy-based public affairs efforts, SCI FI is heralding a bold, new optimistic vision for tomorrow.

Visions for Tomorrow will:

SUPPORT local, state and national programs that spur entrepreneurship and innovation.

CHAMPION the notion that individuals can have a significant, positive impact on humankind.

INVESTIGATE an anthology of ideas for improving life on Earth.

FOSTER an environment for educators and students to create innovative ways to improve the quality of life in their communities or to enhance the well-being of people in general.

INCREASE the chances for individuals to meet the challenges of the future.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where “what if” is what’s on.
SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site ( and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 86 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.

Save a Tree — Remove Junk Catalogs from Your Mail

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Save a Tree — Remove Junk Catalogs from Your Mail

Time to help the planet — stop all those catalogs that you never read anyway!

Go to
Just sign up, it costs nothing and you can opt out of many of the catalogs that are clogging up your mailbox.

If you have the catalog with your customer number or key codes, it helps, but not necessary to stop the mailings.
Time for ALL of US to start saving trees!

National Geographic’s Green Guide

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Here’s an easy way to go green with National Geographic’s new Green Guide. The Green Guide makes living in an  environmentally-aware way easy, understandable and practical. 

Check it out by going to:

It’s not political or activist, but it is chock-full of simple, useful ideas, broken down into achievable steps, that make going green a gradual and affordable process, rather than an all-or-nothing plunge.

Make small changes that add up to big benefits for your wallet, your health and the planet. Subscribe for yourself; and get some subscriptions as gifts to share what you love this year:

It’s a great magazine full of…

  • Reviews of eco-friendly products
  • Money-saving shopping tips
  • Green home improvement how-to’s
  • 100 pages delivered four times a year, and much more.

Have Fun and Save The Planet: Think Globally, Eat Locally

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Have Fun and Save The Planet:
Think Globally, Eat Locally

We all know that our planet needs our help right now, but we often feel unsure about what to do, where to make an effort, and what will really help. The good news is that we can heal the planet on a daily basis simply by buying and eating food that is grown locally. Food that has been transported long distances doesn’t contain much life force by the time it gets to your kitchen. Making a commitment to shop, buy, and eat locally is not only a very important part of creating positive change, it can also be delicious fun.

One of the best places to begin the adventure of eating locally is a farmer’s market. Stalls brim with fresh fruits and vegetables grown on nearby farms. Not only is this good for the environment, it’s good for the farmers since they benefit from selling directly to the consumer. The consumer benefits, too, from the intimate experience of buying food from the hand of the person who grew it. In addition, the food is fresher and more diverse. In supermarkets, particular varieties of fruits and vegetables are favored due to their ability to survive transport to a far destination. Alternately, at a farmer’s market, you will find versions of the fruits and vegetables you know that will surprise and delight your senses—green striped heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, white carrots, and edible flowers, just to name a few.

Make an effort to buy as much of your food as possible directly from local farmers. You will become one of a growing number of people eating delicious food to save the planet and having fun doing it.

“Green Marketing” Printing

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"Green Marketing" Printing
It’s Easy Being Green

Consumers increasingly associate themselves with social  responsibility and the environment. Companies have responded with “green marketing,” creating a key point of differentiation by promoting the perception  that their organization’s operations, products and services are eco-friendly. The challenge is to honestly assess and communicate what your organization is doing to protect our natural resources.

In this information age, you can transmit much data electronically versus the traditional ink and paper route, saving time and trees. When it comes to marketing, however, printed materials remain a key element of the overall strategy. There’s no need to compromise between social  responsibility and the demand for marketing collateral. You can incorporate environmentally friendly techniques into virtually every aspect of your print  campaign.
Choose words to match  your values. Weave language that evokes the benefits of environmental  protection into your copy, such as future, goodness, simplicity, legacy, inherit, purity, care, trust and fresh.
Carefully consider  color selection. Environmentally friendly color is more complex than simply  choosing forest green, sky blue or earth tones. Some ink colors are less friendly than others because the pigments may contain toxic heavy metals.
Images are powerful  marketing tools. Traditional environmental images are earth, sky, water and  trees. To more subtly convey your message, incorporate recycling bins or hybrid vehicles into the background.
Change your paper. Using  recycled paper is a “quick win” for any organization wanting to demonstrate  social responsibility. A range of recycled content comparable in quality,  shade, performance and cost to virgin stock is available. We can help you  understand your options, including de-inked, acid-free and uncoated papers.
Design to reduce waste. Put more words on a page using smaller fonts and margins, eliminate  covers and incorporate two-sided printing.
Make conservation a  part of the conversation. Bring your green marketing plan full circle by giving your customers the opportunity to recognize and participate in your efforts. Inform your clients that you have chosen earth-friendly printing  techniques and remind them to recycle.

 Responsiveness to green campaigns will inevitably grow  as we gain a deeper understanding of how the Earth works. This will lead to a double bottom line, with your company’s success measured not only by profits  but also by your commitment to our planet.

Fidlar Doubleday


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Being in the printing industry for over 30 years now, I have watched how the delivery from massive printing change to high-tech delivery through email, PDF files, and the Internet… all good changes. WE NEED TO. It’s our Mother Earth – and our HOME!  It brings joy to my heart when there are alternatives at our finger-tips to SAVE THE PLANET.  It’s TIME for utilizing those alternatives!

Yes, in spite that I’d really love to (selfishly) have a bright yellow Saturn SKY sportscar, my next car will be a HYBRID instead. Smaller cars, less fuel consumption. If you need an SUV – get the new cross-over Hybrids. We all need to think ahead… to our future… our childrens’ future… even 5-10-50 years from today. Will we HAVE the resources we need to sustain our lives? We’re in this TOGETHER!

The greatest gift–the most touching gift–someone can give me today, as my mother did for Christmas this year, is the gift of a TREE planted. We need our trees – to live and breathe. Granted, we’re not in a paperless society, yet. There ARE numerous things that you and I CAN do now to support the planet’s resources.

What does "recycling" have to do with "Heart" and "Heart Books?" The Heart is the Core; for people it’s the central vital organ, and the passion for life; the Heart of our planet is a living being, Ghia, Mother Earth. Just as we need nurturing, so does she. Just as we need support, so does she. Just as we need love, so does she.

This is the FIRST article on this blogsite regarding this crucial need for Recycling.
JOIN IN. Write your articles, leave your comments, offer tips, website links, resources and ideas — after all — it IS "our" home!

Sheryl Roush, Sparkle Presentations, Inc., Speaker, Author of over 10 books

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