What I Want on Earth Day

by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

The first Earth Day came together 41 years ago because people all across America wanted clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and swim in, and clean lands to build their homes, businesses, schools and churches. The movement they started has made remarkable steps: saving lives, bringing clean, safe water to millions of Americans, and restoring some of our most blighted and polluted areas. Today’s generation of young people don’t have to face the same levels of harmful pollution and the health threats that come with them.

But our work is not done, and we have to ask ourselves “What do I want this Earth Day?”

We still face serious challenges, from climate change to restoring treasured waterbodies to ensuring that every person in every community has clean air to breathe. As you can see in our “What I Want…” Earth Day video series, Americans are still deeply concerned about their health and their environment.

To continue making progress today, we need to do the same thing our predecessors did 41 years ago: come together and work to make a difference. There are new and extraordinary ways for you to make a difference. As EPA Administrator, what I want this Earth Day is your help in this important work.

Here are some great ways to get involved.

Pick 5 for the Environment

Join thousands of people around the world in our Pick 5 program. Choose five simple steps from the lists provided on how you can contribute to environmental protection. Suggestions are listed by topics like air, land, water, energy, waste and advocacy, so it’s easy to find the activities that are best for you. While you’re there, be sure to check out the new map showing every Pick 5 commitment from around the world. Coming together to help the planet has never been more convenient.

Serve.gov Earth Day Service

If you’re looking for something more local, type in your ZIP code to find Earth Day volunteer projects in your area.

Use the US Post Office new Go Green Stamps

GoGreen stamps from USPS

Another great source of environmentally friendly ideas is the US Postal Service’s new Go Green stamps. Things as simple as fixing leaks in our homes or taking reusable bags to the grocery store can help make our air cleaner, our water healthier and our communities stronger. These stamps have ideas for us all to consider – ways for us to make an impact with small changes to our daily routines. They are a reminder of the role we can each play to make a tremendous impact in the world around us.

State of the Environment Photo Project

One of the most interesting ways to get involved in safeguarding the environment is by capturing it in a photograph. Visit our State of the Environment Photo Project Flickr page to see images and submit your favorite pictures. Help us document the progress we’ve made over the last four decades, and the areas that still need our work.

We take these steps as individuals, but the combined impact of our actions can make a world’s worth of difference. What do you want this Earth Day? And what are you going to do?

About the author: Lisa P. Jackson is Administrator of EPA.