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A Look Back and A Look Forward: 350.org’s Moving Planet

September 23, 2011

Are you all as excited about Moving Planet tomorrow as I am? Our friends  at 350.org have worked tirelessly to organize this special day to put our demands for climate action into motion. Across the world, citizens will be marching, biking, skating, hiking — name your preferred mode of eco-friendly transportation — to call for the world to move beyond fossil fuels.

This day brings me great joy in the same way that Earth Hour does every year. It moves me to know that, despite cultural differences and distances, we can come together for a cause that is relevant to us all.

I’d like to share a special moment with you:

Leading up to 350.org’s Climate Change Day last year (10/10/10), I was shocked when I noticed that there weren’t any “work parties” in Central Park, one of New York’s City’s historic landmarks. I double-checked just to be sure,  but nothing in NYC’s treasured park.

So, I decided I’d do something about it.  I created one myself, even if it would just be me rallying.  The night prior, I spent about four hours creating all sorts of posters, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My boyfriend joined me that morning, thankfully, so at least I had one other person. As we walked swiftly down Columbus Avenue, my arms were filled with 350.org signs and my heart filled with nervous energy. What if no one came? Would my event be a failure? Would Central Park runners heckle me and laugh in my face? I should’ve worked harder to promote it.  Admittedly,  these thoughts overwhelmed me.

But sure enough, just a few minutes before 10 a.m., a few people began approaching me, asking if I was “Lindsay.” And then a few more came, and a few more. I was so happy people wanted to come, tears filled my eyes. (Do I sound like the biggest eco-nerd yet, or what?)

Luckily, I brought plenty of signs to pass around, and without hesitation, my new cheerful friends began proudly holding up their signs, and speaking to Central Park’s passersby about 350 PPM and climate change.

I stood back for a moment and took in the scene.  Only moments earlier, we were complete strangers. Now, we were fast friends, holding 350.org signs in the air against a picturesque fall backdrop in one of the lovliest parks in the world.

I felt so proud of us all in that moment, and so happy that so many others throughout the world felt the same way that we did — driven to spur change, in their own ways.

I hope you’ll find an event in your community, and get your friends and family in on the fun, too! And if you can’t find an event near you, create your very own. Don’t worry about how many people go.  If you organize it, they will come.

Originally published on Eco-Chick.com.

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