A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

Be a Hummingbird
By African Magazine Staff Writer

Worldwide, there is growing sense of eco-consciousness that makes this Earth Day especially significant. From Former VP Al Gore's 2006 planetary climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's consumer friendly crusade to make his state green, to President Obama's 2009 signing of a milestone environmental law to keep land and rivers wild, environmental issues are finally at the forefront of the political and social agenda. (Editor's Note: Re: Obama).

This increasing awareness of the host of issues that face the planet: pollution, global warming, deforestation, may seem daunting to most people but Nobel prize winning environmental activist--Wangari Maathai -renowned for planting millions of trees in her native Kenya- has a message of hope. In the clip that follows, Maathai recounts the tale of a hummingbird's bravery in the face of a raging fire. Global warming has the world on fire, listen to Maathai's words of encouragement then read on for some quick tips on what you can do to make a difference.

What You Can Do

Save water. Use low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets in your bathroom. Turn off water while brushing you teeth. Take shorter showers.

Save energy. Turn off lights and electronics when you leave a room. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to light your home. Lower your thermostat and purchase a programmable thermostat. Find out more about this and other energy-efficient products and practices at Energy Star

Help reduce car emissions by walking, riding a bike, taking public transportation, car pooling: connect with fellow commuters at eRideShare or use a car sharing service like Zipcar.

Recycle & Reuse. Recycle paper and plastics. Recycle your technology: cellphones and computers -Dell, IBM, & Apple all offer recycling programs. Give away and get goods at FreeCycle.

For more information on earth saving practices visit earthday.gov.