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Earth Day Network Aims for Billion Acts of Green
WASHINGTON, DC, April 21, 2011 (ENS) - Earth Day Network and Facebook are collaborating to engage people worldwide in environmental action through the Billion Acts of Green campaign. The two organizations have created a new application to motivate people to reduce their impact on the environment.

Kathleen Rogers (Photo courtesy Earth Day Network)

"Earth Day Network's collaboration with Facebook on the app takes advantage of two global platforms - Facebook's social network and Earth Day, the largest platform for environmental action," said Kathleen Rogers, president and chief executive of Earth Day Network. "This effort is founded on the shared belief that to achieve real progress on today's immense environmental challenges we must act together."

"Facebook defines togetherness in the digital age, and has the unique ability to take a positive message and propel it across cultural, national, and religious divides," said Rogers. "That's what Earth Day is all about too."

Hutt Valley High School students plant trees at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, David Huebner, right, to celebrate Earth Day, April 21, 2011 (Photo courtesy U.S. Embassy NZ)

The Facebook application is part of Earth Day Network's campaign to reach "a billion acts of green" in advance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, as evidence that people all over the world are working to protect the Earth.

These actions can be immediate changes like switching to energy efficient light bulbs, or large-scale projects that achieve lasting change, such as efforts to make cities or schools greener.

"Facebook's partnership with Earth Day Network to create and promote the Billion Acts of Green app is an exciting way to harness the Facebook platform's power and reach on behalf of the environment," said Jonathan Heiliger, vice president of Technical Operations at Facebook.

"Whether pledging to save energy, use less water, use alternative transportation, or take other steps, people can use Facebook to mark Earth Day with meaningful action - and can encourage their friends to do the same. This will help Earth Day Network achieve its 'Billion Acts of Green' goal."

The app can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/billionactsofgreen.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality is using Facebook for its Open for Questions Earth Day event today live from the South Lawn of the White House. At 4:30 pm EDT Nancy Sutley, Council chair, and Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the President for energy and climate change, will answer questions about what the Obama administration is doing to protect air and water an build a clean energy future. Log on here: http://apps.facebook.com/whitehouselive/

In Los Angeles, Nancy Sutley, left, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, plants a tree with local residents, April 2011 (Photo courtesy The White House)

Tomorrow, First Lady Michelle Obama, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and Sutley will commemorate Earth Day by working to help improve the habitat at Fort Dupont Park in Washington, DC, an urban green space in DC's historic Anacostia neighborhood. President Barack Obama will be traveling back to Washington, DC from Los Angeles.

Local elected officials nationwide from some 300 communities will meet with residents as part of Earth Day Network's Global Day of Conversation campaign, to discuss promoting their green economy, protecting ecosystems, and saving on energy costs. These meetings are part of Earth Day activities that also include festivals and town clean-up days.

"Earth Day Network is thrilled that local leaders have chosen Earth Day as a time to focus their communities on how they can all benefit from growing a green economy," said Rogers. "They realize that preserving the environment presents opportunities for innovation and investment that can grow new, high-quality jobs. The commitment to a clean energy economy that these Global Day of Conversation events demonstrate serves as a call to action for world leaders to support building green economies."

Earth Day actions are taking place at all levels of society in many countries around the world. More than 100 million Acts of Green have been registered to date on the Earth Day Network website.

In 2011, Earth Day Network intends to plant one million trees in large-scale, sponsor-supported tree-planting projects in partnership with non-profit organizations throughout the world. Locations where reforestation is most urgently needed include Haiti, Brazil, Mexico and urban areas of the United States.

In Haiti, students and chaperones carry seedlings to a ceremony in the forest. The group planted 2,000 of the 300,000 seedlings in memory of earthquake victims, April 9, 2011. (Photo by Kendra Helmer courtesy USAID)

In 2010, Earth Day Network planted over one million trees in 16 countries under the Avatar Home Tree Initiative, announced by Avatar director James Cameron on Earth Day April 22, 2010. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development on six continents, while increasing public awareness of the vital role that trees play in preserving life on Earth. Each of the million trees planted under the Avatar Home Tree Initiative will be added to Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green.

Earth Day Network is engaging women business, government and NGO leaders in its Women and the Green Economy campaign. The goal is to create a policy agenda for Rio+20 and relevant generate national initiatives that will promote the green economy, secure educational and job training opportunities for women and channel green investment to benefit women.

Earth Day Network's Arts for the Earth program is teaching sustainability and environmental education through museum and arts community networks. Goals are to promote best practices in sustainability within the extensive arts and museum communities, to develop creative lesson plans that deliver environmental education through the arts, and to feature artists who have incorporated environmental themes into their works.

New this year, Earth Day is holding a Music for the Earth talent contest. Developed in partnership with indie music exponent Sonicbids, and Musician's Friend online instrument retailer, Music for the Earth provides artists with a chance to reach millions of listeners worldwide. Participants enter to win a Gibson Jackson Browne Model 1 acoustic guitar. Listeners can download hundreds of free Earth Day-themed songs.

Earth Day events of all kinds are being held across the United States and around the world. To locate them, go to: http://act.earthday.org/events/search/distance/10006

Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network works with more than 25,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than one billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. For more information visit: http://www.earthday.org.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.



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