By Laura Turner Seydel

When Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day 42 years ago, it was his belief that Earth Day’s success would come from the collective effort of individual communities doing their part to improve the quality of life around them. Today, the same beliefs still ring true.

Kicking off on Earth Day 2011, the Earth Day Network ( is calling for the individual actions of 1 billion people to do their part to restore and protect the natural systems that support all life.  People from all over the world are encouraged to sign on to their site,, to add their pledge of green service before Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development happening in June 2012.

This month, we challenge you to join this global movement and make your own Billion Acts of Green pledge to enhance and restore the ecosystems that are most important in our daily lives. Here are just a few ideas:

Eat Local Food. Eating locally grown, organic food is not only good for your health, but it is good for our local economy and environment. According to Georgia Organics (, if every Georgian household spent $10 week on locally grown food, we’d pump $1.9 billion into our local economy.

Protect Our Natural Resources. Participate in a fun river cleanup with Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (, become a member of the Nature Conservancy of Georgia (, the leading conservation organization working to protect and restore intact and ecologically important lands and waters for people, or encourage your place of worship to undergo an energy audit through Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (

Participate in One of Atlanta’s Many Earth Day Celebrations. From the 10th Annual Earth Day Kid’s Fest ( to EarthShare of Georgia’s 16th Annual Earth Day Party ( there is a way for families, students, and businesses to learn, have fun, and do their part this Earth Day.

For an Earth Day calendar of events more eco-living news, visit And be sure to check out Atlanta INtown’s annual “Green Issue” in April.





Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.