Today is Earth Day 2012, a day filled with celebrations of the environment and all the things being done to try and improve it and make it more sustainable . You can go to events where you recycle your old paper tax records, your motor oil, your cellphone, computers and other electronics.
You can go to festivals and visit the booths of green nonprofits and solar energy companies, take part in composting workshops, learn about wildlife protectors and electric car companies. You might even get the chance to hug a person wearing a polar bear costume.
You can participate in beach cleanups, ride your bicycle with large groups in parades or march in protests against coal-fired power plants, polluters and planet-pummeling profiteers. You can even watch NBC-Universal TV and see how they turned their logo green and laugh at their funny PSAs about cutting your energy use or carbon footprint.
But what you cannot do at any Earth Day event – or any other day’s events – is change the sense of urgency of the U.S. government or the majority of our population about taking the immediate and dramatic steps necessary to avoid runaway climate change or the hell and high water that’s coming with it.
It’s true. I’ve been dreaming of this day for several years now and I’ve got to say I feel even better than I thought I would. I’m downright giddy in fact.
I just got rid of 14 cartons of old paper files and 8 cartons of old VHS tapes, reclaimed all that space in my attic and my garage and didn’t have one scrap of any of it go into a landfill. Yee ha!
Your friendly neighborhood Greenius is a fastidious filer and I have every financial record and work related project file archived going back to 1979 – which amounted to storage box after storage box jammed full of papers in files filling my attic and garage.
For years now I’ve been wanting to have a shredder truck come to my house so I could get rid of all but the last 7 years worth of records, but I’ve been too cheap to actually make the call and dig into my wallet to pay for the truck to show up at my door and securely shred then recycle all that shredded paper. I knew that one day I’d get lucky enough to participate in a free community shredding day and get rid of all those files for nothing. But for one reason or another I kept missing out on the chance when it came.
So when I found out that on Saturday, October 8, my city of Redondo Beach would have free document shredding by Iron Mountain Shredding Company, with no limit of how many boxes I could have shredded, I knew I had hit the jackpot and my heart lept with joy as I did the happy dance around my garage.
When it comes to the holiday season I’m a Thanksgiving kind of guy.
I love everything about T-Day: the focus on gratitude and appreciation, the gathering of family and friends, the sharing of a feast we’ve all contributed to, and best of all, its non-denominational inclusiveness.
In a year when there was hardly anything on the national environmental scene to be thankful for (and frankly plenty to flat out freak out over) it’s been the right time to think globally and act locally, especially if that locality happens to be Hermosa Beach where you have green champions such as:
With school starting up again it’s easy to remember what an exciting and terrifying time this is for high school freshmen making the giant leap from middle school to the intimidating and initially confusing big-time campus.
They don’t get any more big-time than Redondo Union High School‘s 56-acre campus, one of the largest in all of California.
With a history going back 105 years and an outstanding reputation in academics, robotics, journalism, band and so many other areas it is a very cool thing indeed to be a new Sea Hawk joining the other 2,294 RUHS students.
But there’s another high school in the area that Redondo Beach students are also eligible to attend that few even know about, let alone consider applying for. At first glance you might think I’m nuts to even suggest it: I don’t think any Redondo Beach resident has ever opted to attend, although kids from Lennox, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, Bellflower, Maywood, Carson and Lawndale have.
The sensationally sustainable Sona Kalapura is bringing the Big Green Bus to Manhattan Beach on August 2 and August 3.
The Greenius will be there both days to help support Manhattan Beach’s efforts and get to hang with some of the greenest, smartest and most environmentally hip people I know anywhere.
What an Earth Week!
The Greenius helped bring the South Bay Environmental Services Center message of saving energy, saving water, and saving the environment to Earth Day events at the South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes,
to the 18th annual VOICE Earth Day Celebration at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach,
to Northrup Grumman’s Earth Day Celebration at their Manhattan Beach facility on the actual Earth Day on Thursday April 22…
to today’s Earth Day event at Sea Lab
I was also happy to help the South Bay Bicycle Coalition launch our first Earth Day outreach efforts too – including the first ever bicycle parade at Polliwog Park.
Tomorrow I’ll be at UCLA with Bill McKibben of 350.org…
That’s your friendly, neighborhood Creative Greenius volunteering his time for the South Bay Environmental Services Center at the 2009 Torrance Environmental Fair. I’ll be back again this year, at Madrona Marsh on Saturday, March 27 from 10am t0 3pm talking about ways to save energy, save water, save money and cut your greenhouse gas emissions.
Check out the roster of speakers and presentations after the jump.
In an era when most elected officials offer no substance and no positive vision for our future, DiVirgilio is downright JFK-like in his view of what must be done:
“But now is not the time to narrow the vision for our own future, to diminish our expectations for the better days ahead or to downsize the ambitions for our children’s quality of life.
Now is the time to step up and seize the opportunities available to those who act on new realities before they become mainstream trends. Now is the time to use the stimulus, grant and foundation money available to those who lead before the map is even drawn.
Now is also the time to act because we are standing at another threshold, the threshold of climate-change tipping points that may diminish the future prospects and possibilities for young and old alike.”
So we choose to go carbon neutral, not because it is easy, but because it is our best possible future, and the best path to preserving the small-town beach community and culture we all cherish and want to pass on to the generations who follow.