Earth Day: Inform, Inspire, Act

An old English hippy once told me that it was our responsibility to use whatever platform we had to do good in the world. Sometimes, that platform is the dinner table where we talk to our children about how to be kind and compassionate. Sometimes, it's a meeting where we are called on to answer a simple question.

And then other times, it's in the form of an electronic communication to friends far and near.
Today is Earth Day, and while it has turned into a bit of a commercial nightmare and red letter date for debate, it's still the day that we stop to think about this big planet we all live on together. We are all responsible for the care of our home, from the trees to the waters to the animals and the people. 
But thinking about one human trying to change the world is daunting, isn't it?
I was asked to take a look at a site called Take Part (a Members Project from American Express), a place where individuals and organizations get together to collaborate on big ideas for change. Instead of one teeny blip of a person, there are many blips forming large groups taking action together. The site has some information up today about Climate Change. I'm not going to weigh in on the debate because I don't want to be taken out of context. I will say that I'm not a fan of pseudo-science and "hockey sticks". However, I am a proponent of living a sustainable lifestyle. I don't waste water. I recycle everything. I eat pretty macro. And I just started driving a car that gets awesome gas mileage! 
One movie that I am a huge fan of is on the Take Part site. That movie is Food, Inc. Food, Inc. not only sheds light on the ills of the food industry, it also shows how we can live a sustainable life while eating better.
Check out this video...

I don't normally tell people what to do, but I have not shied away from telling everyone I know about it. It's such an important movie that I have broken my cardinal rule of not "shoulding" on others. You SHOULD watch it. It's not about never eating meat again. It's about being thoughtful about what we consume. Eating locally and in season seems like a simple change to make, but people are resistant, even if it means better health for themselves, their families, and their global home.
This movie informed me of so much. It inspired me to be more conscientious in the way that I shop and what my family eats. And finally, I continue to act not only by feeding my family with better food choices grown or raised locally and in season, but by sharing this information with friends and family.
There are so many other opportunities to become involved in communities that are inspiring others to action. Go to Take Part and poke around a bit. You might come across another movement I love, The Girl Effect. Or you might come across a page that has me packing my bags for a road trip. Join a group that inspires you to act. Or if you have a cause that you'd like to spread the word about and get off the ground, you can start your own group.
Regardless of whether you think the world is melting or freezing, there are plenty of changes that we can all take part in.
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You can also take part simply by voting for the change you want to see in this world. From now until May 24, 2010, you can vote for the charity of your choice. The winner will receive $200,000 in funding from American Express.
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PS: I wasn't paid for this post.  While I was offered to be entered to win a gift certificate for posting, I asked to be removed from the giveaway. I want to make sure you guys know this is from the heart.
PSSS:  YOUR WELCOME

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