Posted by: cgratton | April 22, 2009

Go Hug a Tree…in Argentina

It seems almost silly to have only one specific day to celebrate environmental preservation, but the premise behind today’s Earth Day celebrations is worthy nonetheless.  Today, it is estimated that over 500 million people will participate in 175 countries.  How do these other countries celebrate mother nature?  Here’s a list of some inspiring Earth Day events from around the world from Greenopia.com and Vagabondish.com.

Thai monks celebrate Earth Day in a peaceful way

Thai monks celebrate Earth Day in a peaceful way

Thailand

Just north of Bangkok, the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Monastery has one of the coolest Earth Days on the planet.  100,000 monks from 20,000 temples make offerings of necessities to promote peace on earth.  In 2008, in honor of co-operation between Sri Lanka and Thailand, Abbot Dhammajayo of the monastery sent 222 Buddha statues to 222 temples in Sri Lanka.  So if you feel a little more peaceful this Earth Day you know who to thank!

Rome

The ancient city will host an eclectic concert that combines sounds from all over the world.  This year, Ben Harper is scheduled to play with his new band, along with other musicians from Italy, Jamaica, Nigeria and Brazil.  The goal of the concert is to use music to engage Romans in environmental activism, and to educate them about the small steps they can take to make a positive impact on the environment.

Buenos Aires

On Earth Day 2008,  more than 10,000 people gathered to celebrate at the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas in Buenos Aires.  They took yoga classes, watched short documentaries on climate change, and danced to music with a conscience.  No word if anyone tangoed around the Plaza – though an Earth Day dance from the birthplace of tango could be awesome.

The swimming route for Monacos earth-conscious swim

The swimming route for Monaco's earth-conscious swim

Monaco

This Earth Day will bring the 3rd annual Monaco Earth Day Swim, a 2.5 km open water swim from the Port de Fontvieille, past Monte Carlo to the Beach.  A wetsuit is required.  Don’t want to swim in the open water?  You can also kayak.  2008’s swim brought swimmers from over five nationalities to the event.  This year’s event is supposed to bring over 100 swimmers!

Chicago

Last Earth Day, more than 40,000 people celebrated at the Lincoln Park Zoo, breaking attendance records for the establishment.  Artists performing for the crowd included Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead, Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers, Scott Murawski of Max Creek.

Tel Aviv

Last year (for Earth Hour) the city of Tel Aviv, Isreal put on a truly man-powered show.  With a crowd of 40,000 people packed into Rabin Square, the city turned out its lights, and relied on bio-diesel fuel and stationary cyclists to power the concert.  Amazing.

It’s reassuring to see the rest of the world participating in conservation and preservation efforts, especially from a traveler’s point of view. Nature is obviously the foundation of any destination, it has made the people who they are culturally and the shaped what the country is today. I know I want to continue to explore the world, see my destinations in their purest, most beautiful form, and truly get as close to the original, raw experience as possible.  This is why environmental preservation, awareness and education is crucial. Don’t you want generations to come to be able to walk through the rain forests, see a polar bear in the wild and scuba dive along the coral reefs?  Just some food for thought.

Global knowledge is power

Global knowledge is power

Happy Earth Day, everyone.

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