Earth Day 2020: Time to think about mother Earth Published April 14, 2020 By 86th Civil Engineer Squadron Installation Management Flight 86th Civil Engineer Squadron Installation Management Flight RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- "Building a sustainable society is the critical challenge of this century. Everything depends on it." (Senator Nelson, Founder, Earth Day) The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. More than 20 million Americans demonstrated for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. The event was so successful, that in Dec. 1970 Congress authorized the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. As a result, Americans began honoring Earth Day on April 22, every year. In 1990, Earth Day went global in 141 countries and the event continues to spread internationally. This year, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries worldwide will commemorate “Earth Day” (though likely, virtually). Earth Day goals: more than just spreading awareness! Small changes in our lifestyle can make a big difference. Everyone can do them without experiencing a significant cut to quality of life. Sustainable consumerism promotes purchasing goods that are produced with the minimum amount of resource consumed in the production of those goods. Farmer’s markets require minimal resources in order to produce goods that provide benefits to the consumer. Even doing simple things like changing your conventional light bulbs to energy-saving bulbs, such as LED (light emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs make a big difference. These bulbs are more efficient and use 80% less energy while lasting up to 10 times longer. Additionally, turning off electronics, or even unplugging them, will save both energy and money, as will washing your clothes at a lower temperature to reduce hot water bills. Do you need to use your car for short distances? Walking is healthy and your wallet will be grateful. Finally, did you know that for every degree Celsius less in room temperature, you will consume about 10% less energy? Again, a win/win situation for your wallet and for the environment. Earth Day 2020 Theme: Climate Action The 2020 Earth Day theme is “Climate Action.” International bodies of scientists have warned that we have just over a decade to halve our emissions to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change on our food supply, national security, global health, extreme weather and more. What you can do about climate change Get informed. Knowledge is power – learn more about the science behind our climate challenge and the responsibility that all sectors hold in addressing the issue. Hold yourself accountable. Consider offsetting carbon emissions by investing in clean and renewable energy projects around the world that support local communities, drive sustainable development and protect our planet. Unplug. Unplug items when they aren’t in use, buy goods with high energy-efficient standards, and consider making the switch to renewable energy. Travel smarter. Take public transit, bike, or walk when possible – it’s good for your health, your wallet and the planet. Climate action, one bite at a time. Research has revealed the tremendous impact that the mass production of meat, dairy, and eggs has on our planet. Enjoy more plant-based meals, reduce your food waste altogether, and compost your food scraps. Shop smarter. Support companies driven by sustainability and committed to transparency throughout the supply chain. Shop smarter with thoughtful purchasing to minimize waste.Consider reused and pre-loved items to take part in the circular economy and keep goods from our already overflowing landfills. Happy Earth Day!