Going Green!

“It organized itself” Senator Gaylord Nelson claims humbly, but every big events starts with a small idea and passion to follow through. For that vehemence we should thank the Senator because it was that which brought about this awareness campaign and took it global. There are now celebrations in over 175 countries.

For years Senator Nelson was making conservation tours trying to raise awareness of the environmental degradation issue and have it put into the political agenda to no avail. In November of 1962 he met with Robert Kennedy and discussed with him the need for conservation and the government to get involved. Robert Kennedy agreed as did President John F Kennedy. In September of 1963 President Kennedy even went on an 11 state conservation tour but the politicians still didn’t take notice. Senator Nelson didn’t give up. He continued speaking about the adverse effect we had on our environment. The first Earth Day, April 22 1970, was meant to be a form of grassroots protest. Senator Nelson got the idea in the summer of 1969 while on an environmental awareness tour. He noticed the anti-Vietnam “teach-ins” and how engaged the college students were and realized that this was the push the politicians needed to put global awareness on the forefront.

At a conference in Seattle in September of 1969, Senator Nelson announced that “protest” for the following spring. About a month later the New York Times ran an article about the event and the necessity of action. When Senator Nelson claims it organized itself he gives credit to the thousands of schools and communities and over 20 million people that took part to make that Earth Day a success!

Why April 22? Well that was no accident. It was very strategic on Nelson’s part. Nebraska already regarded it as Arbor Day and had been celebrating since 1885. But Nelson also took into account that since his key was to engage the college students he had to work around their schedules. The week did not conflict with any exams, breaks, or holidays, and it promised pleasant weather. And he chose Wednesday because it wouldn’t have to compete with as many programs. I say we thank Senator Nelson for letting Earth Day organize itself.

So what are you doing to “Go Green”? It can be as simple as taking your own mug to the coffee shop to as large as changing out your appliances. We at the Inn at the Peachtrees are about to undergo an extensive renovation and are heading in the right direction to preserve our planet for future generations. We will replace our bathroom fixtures to conserve water, invest in energy efficient appliances and lighting and are looking forward to reducing our carbon footprint.

This weekend to wrap up Earth Week the Inman Park Festival will be the destination spot. While Atlanta has many festivals this is the one that you should never miss. It is truly a local festival that celebrates the Inman neighborhood. With hundreds of artist and merchants and the best food Atlantans would be crazy not to be there. And as any good festival does of course there is a parade, but not just any old parade. This one is lead by the Inman Park Butterfly! Live music of all genres and a dance festival wrap up the reasons why this is my favorite festival of the year and the best date spot for this weekend. And since you will already be at Inman Park check out the Pacific Kitchen and see how much flavor organic food brings to the table!

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Fire and Iceland

After a fairly calm 200 years the Eyjafjallajokull volcano started to erupt again last month. Thrill seekers from around the world flocked to Iceland. They took super jeeps, buses, and helicopters to check out the now active volcano. Many said the serene feeling of being there was indescribable. Tour guides and charter companies made small fortunes while the country started paying back its debts. During the past 2 months Iceland’s economy was starting to bounce back. Like the majority of the world Iceland was affected by the recession, however with the first eruptions from volcanoes that had been quiet for the most part, it saw a resurgence in the economy. Then last week came the big one!

The eruption last week has put a stop to all travel in and out of Europe! Officials say that it is unsafe to fly through the ash because it could cause the engine of a plane to shut down. Therefore over 700,000 people have been grounded with flight plans delayed indefinitely. By far this is the largest disruption of travel the world has seen so it has been unclear on exactly how to handle the situation. The bottom line is everyone is losing money. British Airways is losing 20 million pounds a day. Air France-KLM started doing its own test runs yesterday and hopes to present the results to government officials when they convene tomorrow. They are being proactive because they can’t afford to lose any more than the euro35 million they already have been losing each day.

The true casualties of this event have been the travelers. We at the Inn at the Peachtrees have some travelers stranded with us and are hoping we can do everything to make their stay as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately not everyone has been able to say the same. With some hotels almost tripling their room rates and the unforeseen expense of nearly an additional week abroad, travelers are weary and running out of money fast! Some airlines are reimbursing passengers for their expenses and providing meal vouchers. The American Red Cross has set up camp at the Kennedy International Airport providing blankets and incidentals. Hopefully by the end of the week things will be resolved, and everyone resumes safely with their travels.