Cat’s Eye

Keeping an Eye on Earth Day: Member News Spotlight

April 7, 2016

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people in 194 nations now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Media Kitty members far and wide are among participants in Earth Day and are sharing their news on-site. Here are some that caught our eye.

Wanting to give back to the rivers they float on as well as past and future guests who come along for the journey, Holiday River Expeditions is offering a limited-time promotion. For anyone booking a Utah river trip between April 11-22, 2016, a 5% discount off the normal rate will be applied. In addition, the company will donate another 5% to the environmental nonprofit Living Rivers in support of their important river protection work.

Living Rivers’ work is entirely focused on preserving and protecting the Colorado River Watershed which includes all of the rivers Holiday River Expeditions runs on the Colorado Plateau in Utah; the Colorado, Green, San Juan and Yampa Rivers. The nonprofit based in Moab, UT is the watchdog for the most endangered river system in America.

Meanwhile in Tofino, British Columbia, one of the top tourism destination towns in Canada, the ‘Straws Suck’ campaign launched by Surfrider Foundation – Pacific Rim chapter, and backed wholeheartedly by Long Beach Lodge Resort, is aiming to rid this iconic West Coast wilderness and surfing town of plastic straws for perpetuity. By banning straws by Earth Day (April 22), Tofino joins other well known tourism destinations like London’s SoHo district with its Straw Wars campaign and Miami Beach.

Surfrider Pacific Rim has reached out to Tofino business owners, recruited volunteers, created posters, launched a social media campaign, and produced certificates for participating businesses. Video public service announcements are also being produced using local celebrities, and biodegradable straw alternatives have been sourced.

“We chose straws because they are seemingly innocuous yet have a profound impact on our oceans and beaches,” says Michelle Hall from Surfrider Pacific Rim. “They can’t be recycled, they are only used once and then thrown away, they are one of the top ten pieces of litter picked up on beach clean-ups around the world. By simply saying, ‘no,’ to plastic straws, we can make a big difference. We hope it leads to greater awareness about the impact of plastics in general.”

As well as adding to the litter problem, straws and other plastics kill one million seabirds, 100,000 mammals, and turtles annually when they entangle themselves or ingest plastic pollution, according to scientists.

To celebrate Earth Day and appreciate the beauty of the world our members travel, we chose Media Kitty member and Google certified photographer Jennifer Dobson‘s new work. Always bringing a unique and new perspective to destinations she works with, her photosphere 360 degree virtual tour is a visual treat, taking you to the most beautiful destinations around the world. Enjoy!

Keep track of other member initiatives and post yours on Media Kitty. Learn more about Earth Day here.

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