Two weeks ago, I was at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage for the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Speaks Youth Award ceremony. I saw eleven amazing 13-24 year-olds speak on sustainability. The five USGBC recipients all mirrored the message of World Environment Day: individual actions (whether great or small) can multiply to make a global difference & a huge impact. Melissa Senard, Riley Hoffer, Matthew Evans, Jordan Howard, and Gordon Schweitzer each saw a unique need. They each did something--whether it was starting a football stadium recycling program (Melissa), creating an educational website/outreach program for kids (Riley), designing an organization to invite teens to come together to improve their community (Matthew), becoming a public speaker who spreads the "green" message (Jordan), or participating in college environmental issues and becoming a green building engineer who consults on 20 projects (Gordon). By starting with a personal, meaningful cause--then uniting with others--each created something substantial. The world is different now because of five individual acts. This IS the message of World Environment Day.
As Jordan Howard said that night: "I invite you to rewrite your story, whatever it will be. When you are walking down the street and see the trash on the floor--throw it in the trash. Refuse that plastic bottle, that plastic straw in restaurants. Refuse plastic bags at grocery stores--refuse it. Do anything. Anything."Do something. Watch the Kennedy Center award ceremony and be moved and inspired by the April 27th event at http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M4265&type=A.
The above photo was taken May 7th, 2010. WED2010 = World Environment Day 2010. The 6.05 = June 5th. The 6,819,456,722 = World Population on May 7th according to http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html. The difference to make = All of ours! The picture below is the United Nations Environment Programme World Education Day 2010's logo, as found at http://www.unep.org/wed/2010/english/images/logos/web/WED2010_Logo_Web_English1.jpg.