All of EDN’s activities, whether greening schools or promoting green economic policies at home and abroad, inform and energize populations so they will act to secure a healthy future for themselves and their children. With its partner organizations, EDN provides civic engagement opportunities at the local, state, national and global levels. At every turn, EDN works to broaden the definition of `environment` to include all issues that affect our health, our communities and our environment, such as greening deteriorated schools, creating green jobs and investment, and promoting activism to stop air and water pollution. Over the last 45 years, EDN has executed successful environmental campaigns on issues ranging from climate change and drinking water to voter registration and saving the whale. EDN is a recognized leader in creating civically–oriented innovative programs with partners outside of the environmental movement to tackle new challenges. Our core programs today focus on:
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 50,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
But Earth Day Network does not stop there.
All of EDN’s activities, whether greening schools or promoting green economic policies at home and abroad, inform and energize populations so they will act to secure a healthy future for themselves and their children. With its partner organizations, EDN provides civic engagement opportunities at the local, state, national and global levels. At every turn, EDN works to broaden the definition of 'environment' to include all issues that affect our health, our communities and our environment, such as greening deteriorated schools, creating green jobs and investment, and promoting activism to stop air and water pollution.
Over the last 45 years, EDN has executed successful environmental campaigns on issues ranging from climate change and drinking water to voter registration and saving the whale. EDN is a recognized leader in creating civically–oriented innovative programs with partners outside of the environmental movement to tackle new challenges. Our core programs today focus on:
Greening Schools and Promoting Environmental Education In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and The Clinton Foundation, EDN’s Green Schools Campaign, aims to green all of America’s K-12 schools within a generation. Green schools save money, conserve energy and water, and foster better-performing, healthier students. EDN’s Educators' Network, used by over 30,000 teachers and administrators nationwide, provides innovative tools and resources to promote civic participation and to develop a sense of environmental responsibility among students of all ages. Together, EDN’s Education and Policy Teams organize federal and state legislative campaigns to green school facilities, improve school food, and enhance environmental education and civic engagement. These include the Healthy Schools Act, No Child Left Inside, the National Civic Education Project, No Idling and the Climate Change Educators’ Grant. EDN is also working internationally to promote green schools and improve environmental education.
Accelerating the Global Green Economy
For years, EDN has created dialogues and conferences engaging civil society, corporate, and government leaders on how to transition from a traditional, fossil fuel-based economy to one based on renewable energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable development principles. Our Global Day of Conversation continues to provide local government leaders with an opportunity to engage with their constituents in a dialogue about renewable energy, sustainability and the green economy. As in 2010, EDN will co-host the Climate Leadership Gala with Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room at the Creating Climate Wealth Conference, convening the world’s most successful green business leaders. EDN’s newest initiative, Women and the Green Economy (WAGE™), is promoting the unique leadership role women bring to advancing green economic and investment policies at the international, national and local levels.
A Billion Acts of Green®
From greening schools to hosting town hall discussions on clean energy investment and green jobs, Earth Day Network leads its network in thousands of Earth Day events and actions worldwide each year. To catalyze global environmental activism, Earth Day Network chose A Billion Acts of Green® as the theme for Earth Day 2011. A Billion Acts of Green® – the largest environmental service campaign in the world – inspires and rewards simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. The goal is to register one billion actions in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012.
The Canopy Project
As part of its mission to protect natural lands and preserve the environment for all people, Earth Day Network developed The Canopy Project. Rather than focusing on large scale forestry, The Canopy Project plants trees that help communities - especially the world's impoverished communities - sustain themselves and their local economies. Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change.
EDN’s Canopy Project made a commitment to the Global Poverty Project to plant 10 million trees over the next five years in the world’s most vulnerable communities. Over 450,000 trees are now being planted Ethiopia, Kenya, Cameroon, Haiti and in the Boreal Forests of Russia and Norway.
Earth Day India
India has emerged as a decisive environmental, social, economic and political power. Building on the success of its 40th Anniversary Earth Day campaign, Earth Day Network launched a permanent India Program in 2010.
Earth Day Network’s India Program, headquartered in Kolkata, is engaging partners to build and enhance the region’s civic mobilization and leadership in the environmental movement. Projects in India focus on:
- Environmental Education
- Women and the Green Economy (WAGE®)
- Capacity Building and Training
- Earth Day in India
Campaign to protect the Asian Elephant
The Asian elephant, once prevalent throughout many areas of India, is now listed as an endangered species by the Indian Government and included on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The factors leading to steep population declines in all five major elephant habitats include: rapid human population growth that has resulted in shrinking habitat; major reductions in elephant “exclusive zones” and elephant “buffer zones;” and increased human-elephant conflicts, including poaching and an extraordinary increase in railway accidents, resulting from an Indian government decision to increase the range, size, and speed of railways throughout the elephants’ habitat.
To reverse the Asian elephant population decline, Earth Day Network India (EDN-India) has launched a three year campaign to:
- Initiate public interest litigation against the Indian government to eliminate the EIA exemption for railway activities.
- Launch a pan-India campaign build and mobilize a broader national citizen’s movement to support the elimination of the EIA exemption and to protect the Asian Elephants, Rhinos and Tigers.
- Engage local community and other stakeholders in one of India’s most important elephant habitats in a one year pilot program to develop and implement a comprehensive protection plan, including a simple but effective Early Warning System to reduce elephant deaths to zero from railway accidents.
- Develop and implement an environmental stewardship ethic among local community stakeholders, including community leaders and small and local government leaders.
The Green Cities Campaign
The Green Cities Campaign aims to protect the health and wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable populations by decreasing climate change emissions and create financial opportunities in the growing green economy. Much of the campaign will focus on the potential for new and existing buildings to be a major source of carbon reduction and models of efficiency. Globally, buildings are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. Bringing new building innovations along with energy efficiency practices, financing mechanisms, renewable energy sources, and a renovated grid structure into more homes, schools, businesses and communities is critical, and will reap tangible rewards in the form of innovation, new jobs, improved economic stability, and lower energy costs.
The Green Cities Campaign objectives are to:
- Increase public awareness and build consumer demand for energy efficiency and renewables through education, social networking, and public policy campaigns;
- Mobilize key constituencies to create widespread support for progressive policies through communications, demonstration projects and grassroots organizing; and
- Generate concrete commitments for innovative and replicable initiatives from key stakeholders such as industry and government leaders around renewables, energy efficiency, and climate solutions.