Earth Day is More Than Trees and Tie-dye
* Photo provided by Sustain Charlotte
As the days become warmer and longer, people are spending more time outside. With all the extra sunshine and pollen, it comes as no surprise that tomorrow is Earth Day, a day we celebrate Mother Nature and wear tie-dye t-shirts.
When we think of Earth Day we think of trees, animals and picnics at the park. Instead of finding ways to celebrate the Earth, why don’t we find ways to make our (human) impact more positive?
Very few Charlotteans know where our drinking water comes from. For some it comes from the Catawba River. The Catawba River is the primary source of drinking water for 2 million people. In 2000, North Carolinians used an estimated 177 gallons of water per capita per day; the most efficient states used between 109 -137 gallons.* That’s a lot of water! In 2008, it was featured as one of the most endangered rivers in the U.S.
The folks at Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation not only protect the river, they also keep tabs on a variety of water issues including water quality and usage. If you want to support their efforts, volunteer at their Briar Creek Cleanup. It’s the first step to taking care of something we all take for granted.
Charlotteans are notorious for driving EVERYWHERE. Everyday, parents often drive kids to school and then quickly go on to work. In the U.S., 50% of families follow this daily routine. If 20% of those living within two miles of school were to bike or walk instead, it would save 4.3 million miles of driving per day!** That’s 4.3 million miles of less pollution, less cars and more fresh air!
You may be thinking “There is no way I’m riding a bike on Tryon Street!”. Well, our Nonprofit of the Week, Sustain Charlotte wants to change that. Their mission is to find solutions to sustainability issues that our urban city faces. Last month, they launched their #ibikeCLT campaign, an initiative to get a protected bike lane approved in the Uptown area. Supporting sustainability efforts is as easy as supporting one bike lane.
Still uneasy about the idea of riding a bike? Their upcoming event, Open Streets 704 might put you at ease. It’s an all day event that invites the community to walk, bike and experience the city on foot. Pro-tip, they’re still looking for volunteers.
Changing the way we think about our impact on Earth is only the first step. Whether it be biking, cleaning up a creek or carpooling you don’t have to do it alone. There are other Charlotteans who’d love to do it with you.
* Information provided by Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
**Information provided by peopleforbikes.com.