“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
To many, Earth Day is just one day per year where environmental issues, recycling, and sustainability articles appear a little more than average on their social media news feeds. However, April 22nd marks the anniversary of a modern movement rooted at the peak of America’s counterculture; a period of anti-establishment, the Vietnam War, and anti-war protests. Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the devastating aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. Inspired by the passion from the student protests, Nelson wanted to use that public energy to officially put environmental issues onto the government’s agenda. By 1990, the movement went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries to bring environmental issues to the main stage.
Here at CSOFT, we strive to view every day as Earth Day. Our people come from all corners of the world, and don’t necessarily celebrate on the same day or in the same ways. However, we all make a conscious effort year-round to be environmentally conscious and friendly. To honor Earth Day, we took a moment to ask our global CSOFTers how their home countries celebrate our planet, and how they make an effort in their everyday lives to be more conscientious about the saving the environment.
Shirley (Copy Editor, China)- I don’t think Earth Day should be a one day thing, it should be a year-round effort. Since pollution and waste has been getting worse over time, China’s government has been making more efforts to take care of the environment. Factories have been closed down, people are driving less, and bike rental services are blowing up. Even me myself, I ride a bike every day to work. I always try to save water and turn off the faucet, even when I see someone else forget to turn off the faucet!
Matt (Marketing Intern, UK)- In the UK, we have “Earth Hour” on March 25th where everyone turns off their lights at 8:30 pm for one hour to save energy. After moving to China, I walk a lot and make an effort to take the tube.
Roxana (Global Resource Coordinator, Russia)- In Russia, there isn’t a lot of focus on “Earth Day” but overall it’s common for corporations and schools to require community service on the weekends to pick up trash from parks and public spaces. Back in Russia, I always refused to print materials for class to save paper and used my iPad instead- which many professors were not happy about- and if I picked fresh mushrooms from outside, I never picked it with the roots, or else there would be no mushrooms the next year. Living here in Beijing, I try to take electric buses when available and never use plastic bags.
Claudia (Global Resource Coordinator, Brazil)- I remember back in school we used to plant trees on Earth Day. For me, I never throw garbage on the streets and if I see any, I pick it up and throw it away.
Cecilia (Marketing Intern, US)- When I was younger in school, we would plant little tree saplings or take home seeds to plant. Sometimes we’d go out and collect trash around the cities. In my day-to-day life, I always try to reuse as much as I can. In China, there’s a lot of product packaging. For example, nuts often come in bags with a zip opening, so I’ll reuse that bag for other things.
Thank you to our CSOFTers for making an effort in taking care of our planet. At our CSOFT offices, we always aim to stay paperless, recycle, and stay away from disposable cups and utensils. Our San Francisco office is even an energy star-certified building, generating less greenhouse gases and using less electricity.
Whether it’s April 22nd or not, it’s always encouraged to keep educating, raising awareness, and making an effort- no matter how small- to make a difference.
Stay green everybody and Happy Earth Day!