As the temperatures cool, and the leaves start to change color, and football stadiums roar to life, September is the month when green foliage begins to take on the fall colors. However, just because the leaves are changing colors, does not mean that people should stop thinking about being green. September has several environmentally conscious activities throughout the month to help keep the green activity moving forward – let’s take a look back on the successes of this past September.
Mobility Efforts with World Carfree Network
The World Carfree Network sponsors – every September 22nd – a day to get mobile by any means other than using cars. The science is solid that eliminating car emissions can help prevent thousands of tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. For this reason World Carfree Network helps organizations make September 22nd a day free of cars. The thought behind the movement is that if people take the time to try and get around without their car, then the cities and governments can see how to make other transportation methods safer and easier.
Cities such as London have taken note and have introduced a new green red bus for their streets after the World Carfree Network showed them videos of their congested streets full of black belching buses. Other groups have jumped on the green mobility bandwagon: By organizing thousands of cyclists on September 24th, 350.org also helped notify their world that the planet’s carbon emissions need to come down. Even schools in Alaska had a walk or bike to school day.
More Emissions Clean-Ups
350.org sounds like a strange name for a green organization, but the name stands for their goal; get the world to bring carbon emissions down to 350 parts per million (ppm). Currently, the world’s carbon emissions are around 390ppm and environmental scientists believe that if that number can be reduced to 350ppm, then the earth stands a chance at staving off global climate change. One of the biggest rallies that 350.org supports is Moving Planet bike rallies on September 24th.
With Moving Planet bike rallies, thousands of cyclists rally together at over 2,000 sites around the world to do quiet demonstrations for lowering carbon emissions. Many of the demonstrations involved having the groups form the number 350 and uploading their photos of the group to the web. Many of the groups in the United States road several dozen miles on bicycles to rally on the steps of their capitols to send the message that their state needs to get on board with reaching the 350ppm goal.
Schools around the nation took part in a Walk/Bike to School Day where children and their parents were encouraged to leave the car at home and either walk or ride their bikes to school and work in September. Volunteers helped to make crossing major roadways safer and placed signs along the sidewalks and bike paths, to remind drivers that bikers and walkers will be in the area. Extra crossing guards wearing vests helped funnel kids to the safe areas. The parents and children were then asked to fill out survey cards to help school district staff locate problem areas and to help correct safety concerns to make future travel safer for their students.
Ocean Conservancy has chosen September 17th to be their day for the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup Day, where thousands of people around the world gather in groups to walk coast lines and pick up trash left behind. The world’s oceans and waterways are becoming contaminated with trash left behind by visitors, dropped overboard by careless boaters and fishermen, or dumped purposely by commercial operations. One goal of the Ocean Conservancy is not just to pick up the trash, but to track it back to the origination of it, and to implement changes to prevent trash from being left behind again. Instead of just cleaning up after people’s messes, they want to help correct their actions and change their opinions of keeping track of all their trash.
Wrapping it all Up
September may just be another month on the calendar, but with fall colors blooming and the smell of fall in the air, it is the best time to get out and walk or bike to work and school. Taking the time to clean up your coast line or get that one last ride in on the bicycle before the snow falls will make all the effort worth it when the fresh air fills your lungs with that wonderful fresh smell that only fall can bring. As September passes and the world in the northern latitudes prepares for winter to come, the time comes to plan for next month and see what activities can be done to keep the green movement alive.