Photo: Sandhill cranes along the Platte River

Sandhill cranes in Nebraska, United States.  Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic.

(ABC News)  Earth Day has been an American tradition for over 40 years now, and as we wrote last year, it has become a little less nonprofit and a little more corporate, much to the chagrin of some die-hard environmentalists.   Starbucks, for instance, is offering to fill up tumblers and washable mugs for free if you bring it in the store today, and last year’s Peat the Penguin plush toys caused mild outrage.  What happened to simply planting trees and raising awareness?  Why are we making ‘going green’ a commercialized trend instead of a noble goal? 

But alas, at the end of the day, if the news about our suffering earth is being spread, it’s being spread, nevermind in what mode.  So take heed and turn off the lights; recycle whatever you can, and switch off the tap as you brush your teeth–every little action helps.  And if you’re still scratching your head for ways to ‘go green,’ Earth Day Network , the nonprofit behind Earth Day festivities, is promoting A Billion Acts of Green–published pledges to keep the planet healthy. 

Happy Earth Day!