Every year since 1970, people have taken one day out of the year to celebrate our planet. Earth Day, April 22nd, was instituted as a way to raise awareness about the impact we have on our planet. Many people actively preserve natural resources every day, taking the message of Earth Day with them to work, school, lunch – everywhere they go. But what about the thousands who let today’s lessons fall by the wayside as soon as Earth Day is over?
Several of our MindMixer communities are using crowdsourcing to encourage their residents to live greener every day. Orlando, Park City, and Boulder have all hosted green conversations and implemented the sustainable ideas of their MindMixer participants, and today – Earth Day – we’re featuring those projects.
Orlando launched their MindMixer site with a simple goal: to become one of the greenest cities in the United States. To that end, the city posed a question asking people how much more they would be willing to pay to have 50 percent of their food come from local farms. The true green of Orlando residents shined through, as most (36 percent) said they would pay 10 percent more to have their foods come from local farms, followed by 22 percent who would pay 5 percent more. Orlando residents have also shown an interest in increasing the number of electric cars on the streets, and many have supported a green event in downtown Orlando to raise awareness about energy efficiency.
Park City, Utah, is building a community dialogue to help take the popular tourist destination into the future, and one of the most popular topics on the site is sustainability. One resident’s idea to implement a community composting program is on the way to becoming a reality, after the site’s administrators passed it along to the Park City Environmental Sustainability Manager for approval. Other green ideas being discussed on Let’s Talk Park City include a more robust school recycling program, residential wind power, and eliminating plastic bags at Park City grocery stores.
Speaking of reducing plastic bag use, Boulder, Colo., residents are inspired to do the same. On Inspire Boulder, the city asked residents to help design reusable grocery bags, and the response was huge. More than 500 residents voted for their favorite of the nine designs submitted. The top two designs are being printed on 30,000 bags that will be distributed around the city.
Living the message of Earth Day can be as simple as taking a shorter shower. It can be as easy as recycling a soda can, rather than throwing it in the trash. Or it can be as helpful as sharing your big idea for sustainability and green living on your community’s MindMixer site. Whatever you decide to do, your actions impact generations of Earthlings to come. Happy Earth Day!
Check out these other MindMixer communities that are going green this Earth Day!
Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan: http://engage.greenfieldmasterplan.com/
Weigh in on the Winnebago Waterways: http://www.winnebagowaterways.com/
Illinois Coastal Priorities: http://www.illinoiscoastalpriorities.org/
Fort Collins Idea Lab: http://idealab.fcgov.com/
Sustainable Thurston: http://www.engagesustainablethurston.org/