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Earth Day and Beyond

On April 22nd the environment takes center stage as Southwest Florida joins communities around the world to celebrate Earth Day. Founded in 1970, to call attention to deteriorating lands and unhealthy waters, the first Earth Day ignited a united call for action that spanned political and demographic boundaries. In prompt response, the United States established the Environmental Protection Agency and passed the first environmental laws including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. The establishment of the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act followed. Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action.
Growing Climate Solutions aims to make Earth Day consciousness part of a day-to-day, climate-friendly lifestyle through our programming and communications. We are excited to offer tips, tools, and hands-on opportunities to support a healthier climate in May and June, with more to follow in late summer and fall, when families return from summer vacation.

The spring lineup includes Dr. Toms’ Y&How talk about staying safe during high heat days on April 6th, and the final SWFL Climate Compass speaker, Ford Motor Company’s Cynthia Williams on April 13th.  On Saturday April 23, there are Earth Day events at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and in Cambier Park in Downtown Naples organized by the Collier Waterkeepers. We will continue our climate learning and activities with a Y&HOW Workshop on composting on May 4th, and a tree-planting event in mid-May in collaboration with Robbie’s Trees.  Keep an eye out for the announcement if you want to volunteer to plant trees on Conservation Collier lands.

 

Lee County and Sanibel Island residents should also plan to attend the May 10th Sanibel Clean Energy Future event, which we have been helping to organize with their Renewable Energy Group. This event, co-hosted by the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation and the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, will provide an opportunity for the community to discuss the economic and environmental value of investments in energy conservation and renewable energy. It is happening alongside a broader strategic planning conversation in the City of Sanibel, whose City Council recently hosted a 2-day planning workshop. Climate change resiliency factored as a significant concern in the workshop as the city makes plans for its future.

 

On a much larger scale, Growing Climate Solutions, its four founding partners and WGCU, News Press, and several Chambers of Commerce have been organizing the Climate & Community Initiative, which along culminate in the Protect Our Paradise Summit on August 25 at the Hyatt in Coconut Point. The Climate and Community Initiative understands that climate action must emerge from the community.  To catalyze action and participation at the Summit, a three day-long Community Climate Conversations are planned on May 23, 24, and 26 with residents and leaders in Charlotte, Lee, Collier Counties (folks from Hendry, Glades, and Desoto can also participate virtually).  Outcomes from these meetings will inform the Protect Our Paradise program, where we aim to develop priorities and actions on climate for the region. We hope that the Protect Our Paradise Summit will inspire more residents and organizations to adopt sustainable lifestyles, engage them on climate policy discussions and demonstrate to elected officials, prior to the November elections, that meaningful action on climate is supported by our voters.  Look out for more information on this important event.

 

Until then, we want to remind our supporters that Growing Climate Solutions provides climate presentations to local civic and professional organizations, neighborhood associations, and church groups. If you know of a group that would be interested in learning about climate challenges and solutions, please reach out to us.

 

 

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