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What I Want on Earth Day

2011 April 22

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. 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.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    April 22, 2011

    Please, Trust To America’s EPA’s Policy, contemporary !!!

    I understand, especially in my country and the most countries in the world, are skepticism to U.S.A. But, nowadays, if they are careful to analyze Him, many-many reasons to trust that She has changed. So, in this Earth Day, please We are doing together to save this planet…

  2. oliviadepopeyes permalink
    April 22, 2011

    Soy Española y no puedo ayudar mucho, pero aportaré algo al Medio Ambiente y si no es así pues lo siento. Como lo mío es escribir, os haré un Eslogan: “Todo lo que ahorréis lo pude aprovechar otra persona, esa agua que no tiras sirve para que un niño tome agua un día, esa electricidad que no gastas, sirve para que un niño se caliente algún día, ese árbol que no quemas, quizás sea la fruta o verdura que un niño coma algún día”. No sé que más podría decir, pues si lo habéis hecho muy bonito. Un saludo y ahora más cerca EEUU y España

  3. Lina-EPA permalink*
    April 22, 2011

    Bonito eslogan.

  4. Jim Guess permalink
    April 22, 2011

    To Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator,

    Hi! I would like to ask you to get one of your best scientists to contact me and discuss this issue.

    Carbon Dioxide.

    The EPA keeps saying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is bad for us and the planet. However, I have a serious question to be considered.

    How does CO2 affect plant life? Let us consider a scientific phenomenon we have known for years and years – photosynthesis. All plants must utilize photosynthesis to grow. Water comes into the plant from the roots and through stomata on the leaves. Also, air comes into the plant through the stomata. A very small part of the air coming into the plant consists of CO2. The process of photosynthesis takes water – H2O – and Carbon Dioxide – CO2 – then converts them into one of the many starches and sugars. For example, peach fructose is C6H12O6 – or more plainly, six carbon atoms, twelve hydrogen atoms, and six oxygen atoms. Now, look carefully at the formula again. Six molecules of water and six carbon atoms are needed to create this single molecule of fructose. The carbon source for the plant is CO2. Well, you will notice that there are two oxygen atoms tied to the carbon atom. Therefore, when photosynthesis creates the fructose, it releases into the atmosphere twelve oxygen atoms which make six molecules of oxygen. Free oxygen always pairs up into O2. NOW, consider again what CO2 is in this case. It is absolutely necessary for a plant to grow! You water a plant, but you cannot ‘fertilize’ the plant with CO2! The CO2 must come out of the air! So, if we really stop and think about it, what is CO2?


    Yes, it REALLY is plant food! If we really want our plants to grow, let’s produce more PLANT FOOD, not less! CO2 is REALLY a greenhouse gas – in that it will HELP the planet be even more green!

    Can you get one of your scientists to talk to me about this?


  5. xbox360 permalink
    April 23, 2011

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  6. Anonymous permalink
    April 23, 2011

    Scientific research has proven Globel Warming is an act of Nature, not man made, and carbon is not the problem of globel warming. Nature has warming and cooling cycles. From 1940 to 1977 was a cooling cycle. The warming cycle started after that and the latest studies indicate the warming cycle ended in 2001. Since 2001 the temperature has been stable, and the melting of the glacers has slowed.

    A recent survay indicated only 31 percent of the people in the United States think globel warming is caused by humans.

    The idea that the EPA thinks shutting down Coal Power Plants will reduce Globel Warming is completely wrong.

    Shutting down Coal Powered Plants will eliminate the quanity of power we need, and eliminate jobs. Wind and Solar Energy do not have the energy density to provide the quanity of energy the United States requires.

    A recent article indicated there is a Nuclear Power plant in Texas that provides as much energy in one day as all of the Wind and Solar units in the United States,combined, have provided in the past Ten Years.

    Nuclear, Coal, and Natural gas are and will be the primary power supplies in the future.

    In my opinion the EPA is misleading the public on globel warming and energy issues.

  7. Dwight R. Boness permalink
    April 23, 2011

    I think this is great. What a fine start to an open government.

  8. Peggy Houk Payne permalink
    April 23, 2011

    I want my retirement home in a beautiful farming community in Michigan to not be in the center of a wind turbine ‘park’. A turbine is proposed to be built within one half mile of my home. The numerous examples of the negative impacts on health caused by turbine flicker, sound and vibration is very disturbing. Now I have to choose to live and deal with these impacts or sell the house. My property value has taken a serious dive, who wants to live in close proximity to a 470 foot turbine?

    I agree that we have to find green energy solutions. Wind power has some potential. However, turbines should NOT be built in communities where people have homes. There need to be federal regulations demanding safe setbacks. The energy companies who are once again backed by huge tax subsidies and tax breaks have an enormous amount of money and power. They come into a community and pay a few big landowners a lot of money to put turbines up. The people who happen to have homes nearby and have to live next to the turbines don’t receive money, only the negative impacts on their health, loss in property value, and a completely different quality of life than they had before in the quiet rural community. It is critical that wind turbines industry have stringent regulations about safe setbacks from homes. Right now the energy companies are trying to put as many turbines as possible in designated areas, in order to get the money. There are too many Americans are losing their quality of life. Please go to to read more about this serisous problem going on in our county. We need green energy AND justice for all.

  9. August 15, 2012

    The highlight of the planet, would be that all the world to do something that benefits the earth.

  10. Lakota Jane permalink
    November 30, 2013

    In fact, when it comes to green marketing, we must think much bigger. We know from our ongoing polling that nearly half the American population considers a company’s environmental reputation while they’re deciding what product to buy. We also know that “corporate reputation” is now the No. 3 way a consumer decides if a product is green (up from the No. 8 slot four years ago). So every company in America should be figuring out how to package their corporate sustainability story and leverage it at the brand level — which sounds an awful lot like “green marketing” to me.

    And that gets me to the title of this post. I’m all for casting a spotlight on the environment once a year and engaging Americans in a conversation about all that needs to be done (as well as their roles). But the very existence of a single day makes it all too easy for companies to see green marketing as an event, rather than an ongoing commitment. A promotion instead of a serious integration of sustainability into a company’s values, purpose and brand.

    If we want to see a paradigm shift in our culture — if we want sustainability to become The Way We Do Things Around Here — it must be celebrated, promoted and leveraged every day!!!!

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