Largest Environmental Action Day in History 10.10.10

By Suzan Clarke

Oct 10, 2010 9:43pm

Even though you don't know it, today is a very special day- the most widespread day of environmental action in history.  It is an international effort, with over 7,347 events in 188 countries  bringing together thousands of people motivated by their desire to help solve the climate crisis from the roots up. Or in this case, from the roof down.  ABC News went to Democracy Prep Middle School located in Harlem, New York, where the students will now attend classes under an eco-friendly rooftop thanks to the dozens of volunteers brought together by organizations such as 350.org, Greenpeace International, and NYC White Roofs. Painting a roof white can help. Making roofs and pavements white or light-colored would help to reduce global warming by both conserving energy and reflecting sunlight back into space. According to US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, "it would be the equivalent of taking all the cars in the world off the road for 11 years." "It's going to reduce the amount of air conditioning used in the hotter months significantly. That is going to help reduce the overall temperature in the area. Having black roofs all around  makes the city a whole lot hotter" said Lara Pomerantz, a volunteer for Greenpeace International. "We're getting to work.  How about you? We are doing this to show how ordinary citizens are capable of taking responsibilities and acting in their own communities," said Dan Miner, a volunteer at the roof painting in Harlem. Even though this is a grassroots movement, it has successfully spread worldwide thanks to the organizational power of the World Wide Web. Around the world people are digging community gardens, installing solar panels, planting trees and more. Over at 350.org they are calling it "A day to celebrate climate solutions, and to work on community projects that can cut carbon and build the clean energy future." For those who didn't make it out to volunteer on this historic day the spirit of this day continues long after the sun sets, with similar volunteer events year-round. - Alex Matas and Carrie Halperin

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