|Though the majority of our clients wish to live and work in the US for job or family related reasons, many have remarked on the raw beauty of the American landscape. As a land of vast natural resources, the US is filled with flowing rivers, expansive plains, towering mountain peaks, and gorgeously green forests. Since we all enjoy or eventually plan to call this land our home, it is our civic duty to protect and preserve it for ourselves and future generations.|
In acknowledgement of this duty, we encourage everyone to take a moment and recognize out surroundings by celebrating Earth Day 2009. Earth Day is an annual occasion held on April 22, which this year falls on a Wednesday, to celebrate the environment and raise awareness about ways we can work to protect our planet and its resources. In the US, Earth Day was officially founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 with the goal of inspiring environmentally-focused education, protest, and advocacy.
During the years leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were embracing a culture of excess with little thought on the environmental consequences. Air pollution was on the rise, but environmental degradation remained in the background, overshadowed by the Vietnam War and other international and domestic political issues.
Nevertheless, thanks to grassroots efforts by many throughout the nation, the vast majority of which were college and university students and other budding young activists, the Earth Day 1970 was a success, uniting nearly 20 million Americans in hopes of promoting a sustainable future.
For many Earth Day 1970 marked the birth of the environmental movement in the US, and over the years, Earth Day observances have grown with many cities extending their celebrations over an entire week. There are also numerous organizations and environmental groups that have encouraged year-long efforts to achieve greener living.
At Zhang & Associates, we have made it one of our goals to embrace a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle. In addition to promoting a greener workspace by doing much of our work through email instead of on paper and encouraging recycling in the office, we provide a “green incentive program” to our Attorneys and staff to encourage green living at home. Through this program, we offer rewards to Attorneys and staff who take public transportation or shop using reusable cloth bags. We also support efforts to purchase environmentally friendly products such as electric cars or energy-efficient light bulbs.
We urge each of our readers and clients to join us in our efforts toward a more sustainable future and also in celebrating Earth Day this April 22nd. In honor of our environment and the America that we call or will call home, here are some suggestions for making each day, whether it’s Earth Day or not, a little “greener.”
- Take advantage of Energy Star products and the Energy Star program. Getting rid of a low energy efficiency appliance can save hundreds in energy costs and may even qualify you for other benefits through your employer or local energy provider.
- Make sure to turn off your appliances and lights when not in use.
- Take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s better for you!
- Buy and eat local. Grow your own vegetables. These small steps can help reduce pollution, stimulate the economy, and get you on your way to eating and feeling better.
Remember the three R’s: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
- Think before you print. Make sure to spell check and proof read before printing documents and only print the pages you need.
- Buy recycled or remanufactured paper and products or use permanent items instead of disposables.
- Recycle paper, plastic, glass, cardboard, and aluminum. Start collection bins in your home or office.
- Write to your local representative and encourage him/her to push for policies to promote the use of renewable energy sources, better public transportation and recycling programs in your neighborhood, or any other environmentally friendly cause. Specifically, you can ask your representatives to “green-up the green card process” and reduce the amount of physical paper required for many immigration petitions.
- Volunteer with your local environmental organization.