Celebrating Earth Day The MyBrownBaby Way: A Tree Is Me

Oh, happy Earth Day, sweeties! Today is the day we pay homage to the natural beauty of our planet and make the commitment to take care of it. Honestly? We’ve been falling down on the job. And after reading a New York Times story last week detailing how Republican and Tea Party state lawmakers are making it their business to deregulate environment policy (among other deeply disturbing things, Paul LePage, Maine’s governor, proposed suspending a law meant to monitor toxic chemicals in children’s products seriously, WTH?), it becomes even more apparent that we need to be much more proactive in our efforts to protect our planet. I mean, it’s not like we can just up and move off Earth when we’re finished running this planet into the ground.

This year’s Earth Day theme is “A Billion Acts of Green.” The folk at Earth Day Network describe it as a “people-powered” campaign to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before the 2012 Global Earth Summit in Rio. The Earth Day Network site is a veritable clearinghouse for information on how to dig in and help, no matter where you live, no matter what your circumstances, no matter who you are. I saw this comment on the Earth Day Network’s site and it really resonated with me:

Take time to reflect about the beauty of this planet we call home this week during Earth Day! Ask yourself this question, “Am I making a difference to enhance, protect and invest in the quality of life for future generations of this planet we named Earth?” If not, then begin this week by applying actions to a few green ideas and investments to this Planet. Elam Stoltzfus

YES! And with all the info floating around the internet, there’s no reason why we all can’t find some way to pitch in and do our part, right? Right! Check out some of the Earth Day awesomeness MyBrownBaby is digging:

  • My Mari, a Scholastic Kids Press reporter, penned this story about the Greening Youth Foundation’s Earth Day Fun Festival as part of Scholastic’s Earth Day 2011 Special Report. If you’e in Atlanta April 30th, come hang out with the MyBrownBaby crew at GYF’s festival details are here.
  • I loved this simple message about water conservation from MyBrownBaby’s favorite green blogger, Jennae of Green Your Decor.
  • And I found this really fun list of ways kids can help the environment at LiveStrong.com.
  • KIND snacks is encouraging us to turn small acts of kindness into a philanthropic KIND act that gives back in a big way. The campaign relies on the collective kindness of its consumers and uses the Groupon model of requiring mass participation to “unlock” a deal; if enough people sign up at www.kindsnacks.com/world to complete the monthly KINDING Mission, KIND pays that kindness forward by carrying out a philanthropic KIND act. This month, KIND encouraged folk to give a flower to someone who helps keep the planet clean and green. So successful was the campaign that KIND will be hosting beach, street and park cleanups in cities across the country in honor of Earth Day. How hot is that?! May’s KINDING mission is to give a healthy snack to an educator (a teacher, wise friend, coworker); if enough people register their kindness, KIND will provide books for afterschool programs in underserved communities. If, in June,  enough people give an orange to someone who provides them nourishment (the school cook, a grocery clerk, a friend whips up meals for you), KIND will provide cooking utensils and host cooking classes for low income kids. WHAT?! I’m all over this. You should be, too. Remember to register your act of kindness HERE.

What are you doing today and everyday to be kind to our Earth? And how are you inspiring your kids to do the same? Holler in the comments section!

I leave you with this poem my Mari, a passionate environmentalist even at the tender age of 11, wrote to go along with the beautiful picture you see up top. My baby is nice with the verbs. This piece makes my heart melt; I hope you love it, too. Happy weekend!


A TREE IS ME, By Mari Chiles

Tall, Fierce, Invincible,

I am the creation that holds this world together. I am a tree.

Some old and ancient, some healthy and new,

I hold life of many kinds, and I am life of my own.

Even though I do not prefer, I help all of human race in the best of ways.

A tough storm comes around and I am ready, with my strong wood and protruding branches.

I was first a small seed with my strength produced

by water and sun.

Now I am a beautiful tree

Tall, Fierce, Invincible.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. LOVE how I can come to this site and get a one-stop-shop for many things of relevance/importance to me and mine! I truly appreciate that, b/c you simplify my life with these kinds of “here’s where this is” post!

    And Mari, you better ROCK it with the written word!!!

  2. Thank you so much for spreading the word about Greening Youth Foundation’s upcoming Earth Day Fun Festival on April 30th at Centennial Park Elementary School in Atlanta. And…Mari is quite nice with the written word- that poem is beautiful!!
    Although Earth Day is something my family celebrates every day of the year, it is refreshing to see folks making a special effort to respect and protect Mother Earth today. If I could ask all of the mommies out there to do just one thing religiously for our planet, I would say “JUST SAY NO TO PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS!”
    Plastic bags NEVER biodegrade.

    * Americans use and throw away 100 billion plastic bags a year and only 2% are recycled.
    * Plastic bags are made from petroleum or natural gas contributing to our dependence on fossil fuels.
    *Plastic bags are killing off marine life.
    *The ink and colorants on plastic bags contain lead, a toxin.

    I could go on and on about the environmental impact of these pesty bags. But, like San Francisco and Oakland that have outlawed the use of plastic bags in grocery bags and pharmacies, we have to say NO!
    Drastic legislative action is needed.
    Let’s not let the environment continue to be a partisan issue. Our children are counting on us!

  3. So many great links for me to dig into–thanks! That’s just about all I’m going to be able to do this evening in honor of our planet. I’m sick as a dog (good ole Ohio weather). I had all kinds of hands-on, cool earth loving activities for me and the kids to do that will have to wait until I can kick this cold.

    I really dug Mari’s poem though. The girl’s got skills!

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