Orlando is still known mostly for being a great place to vacation, hold conferences and to live year round. It is sometimes easy to overlook all of the things Orlando is actually doing to become a leader in sustainability and resilience in a rapidly growing city. Back in 2007, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer launched the Green Works Orlando initiative to ensure the success of immediate and long term sustainability planning efforts. We have seen many people taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and if you are looking to make a difference and have a good time doing so, you may just be in luck on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Orlando and all across the globe as we will be celebrating Earth Day!
You may be wondering what Earth Day is and why it matters. Earth Day is in its 52nd year, having it's first official date of 4/22/1970. As the history of Earth Day goes, Senator Nelson saw the effects of a massive oil spill in January of 1969 in Santa Barbara, California and took action as public consciousness about air and water pollution was on the rise. Senator Nelson was able to persuade Congressman Pete McCloskey to serve as his co-chair when he pitched his idea for a teach-in on college campuses. They recruited Denis Hayes to organize the campus teach-ins and decided on April 22nd, which fell between Spring Break and Finals, to maximize student participation. They quickly realized this effort had the ability to inspire all Americans and Hayes built a national staff to promote events everywhere and expand into other organizations. With this Earth Day was born, it garnished national media attention and inspired 20 million Americans to take to the streets in protest, in support of the environment. By the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was created. By 1990, Earth Day went global to 141 countries and 200 million people participating. Today Earth Day has mobilized 191 countries and over one billion people!
Here are a few opportunities to participate in organized Earth Day 2022 festivities in Orlando!
- Earth Day Work Day 2022 - On 4/22 from 11am to 1pm, join Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando on City Hall Plaza to learn more about green living, recycling and more. There will also be music, games and prizes. This is a free event.
- The 17th Annual Central Florida Earth Day - On 4/23 from 10am to 6pm at Lake Eola Park (East Side), enjoy this full day event of presentations, food demos, music, vendors and various activities. This is a Vegan event.
- Earth Day Celebration At Disney - On 4/22 at Animal Kingdom, join the annual festivities and learn more about Disney Conservation. Do not miss the special Earth Day inspired snack and drink menus.
- Seaworld Conservation Fund - SeaWorld is very active in protecting animals and our shared environment. They have released blog posts on each Earth day. We have shared last years and also SeaWorld Cares that maintains active all year round.
This is just a small list of opportunities to participate in an organized event, and you can also act on your own. There is an endless list of small changes we can take as individuals that collectively make a bigger impact. So if you dispose of trash properly, recycle, plant a tree or whatever you feel comfortable with, continue doing so; you are not alone.
If you are unable to participate or you are not in Orlando, that is okay, you can still watch a live stream or find an event near you. Please let us know if you are doing anything on Earth Day to celebrate or maintain awareness of why the day is such a large event in the comments below.