OP-ED: Together, we can make a positive impact
John Oppermann, Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative, shares his thoughts on the annual holiday's 49th anniversary.
In recent months, we have seen a surge in interest in the idea of a Green New Deal. It is an idea that has floated around for a long time but recently has caught momentum. But what do people mean by a Green New Deal? What would get priority under such a project? Who would benefit from such a project?
Some people claim that such an idea is too vague and uncertain. But what is clear is the enthusiasm and will behind such an idea. Whatever ultimate form such a project would take, people are craving positive change. People want to feel like things are moving in a positive direction. People want to feel like we control our own future.
We see this through the e-mails and phone calls our non-profit, Earth Day Initiative, receives throughout the year from people seeking advice on things they can do to green their lifestyles and better their communities. From teachers to parents and from churches to corporate boardrooms, we witness the eagerness with which people are seeking to empower themselves and their communities to do good.
Millions of people want to see a positive path forward to a more sustainable future. We are asking individuals around the world to share their ideas on what they are doing to make a more sustainable future or what they would like to see in such a future. What sustainability solutions do you see or want to see in your own life or community? What do you do to lessen your environmental footprint? What do you do to green your own community?
As we build on this conversation, we are thankful for those who have spurred on the global conversation around our greatest environmental challenges and stressed the urgency for real climate action. That is why we are presenting this spring our Earth Day 2019 Public Official of the Year Award to United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and our Earth Day 2019 Advocate of the Year Award to Bill Nye. By drawing the attention of millions of Americans to the idea that we need to move quickly on climate change and by not allowing the conversation to rest in the realm of doom and gloom but instead channeling that conversation into a positive view of the future, Ocasio-Cortez and Nye have helped people give voice to their hopes for the future.
Join the conversation. As you tell us about your ideas, we will share your ideas with our network so we can all learn from each other and work to build a sustainable future together. Talk to us at dojust1thing.org.
John Oppermann, Esq. is Earth Day Initiative's executive director and an associate broker and green real estate specialist at Compass.