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Woodland Hills CA

March, 10th

Think Global, Act Local: Grassroots Environmental Guide

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“Think Global, Act Local” is the environment conservation program which was initially used in the context of town planning, business, and environment by Scots town planner Patrick Geddes. He used the phrase for the first time in 1915 although the phrase is not mentioned in his book Cities in Evolution. The idea behind the phrase was applied by Geddes for city planning, preservation of human life and energy, encouraging orderly development of cities, promoting trade, preserving historic building, and not imitating the culture of superficial beautification.

In time, the term was used in the environmental context by many other leaders. It’s believed that the phrase was used by David Brower as the slogan of the organization the “Friends of the Earth” in 1969 and some claim it was used for the first time by Rene Dubos, the advisor of United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in 1972. In 1979, Canadian leader Frank Feather claims to have coined the phrase during a conference. There are many other environmentalists who claim the origins of this phrase.

The history of “Think Global, Act Local” goes along with the green movement. One of the earliest environmental movements started in the 19th century and 1920s when sewage treatment systems were established by some countries to provide clean water for use. During the World Wars, the environment was adversely affected by the use of heavy metals, radioactive material, and toxic substances. After World War II, a number of awareness programs for environmental conservation were initiated and many people took part in the environment conservation movements of Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and George Perkins Marsh.

In 1954, Japanese fishing vessels were exposed to radioactive fallout and this illustrated how the environment had direct effects on humans. In 1969, oil spills in the Santa Barbara Channel were widely opposed by citizens and the effect of mercury poisoning in the people of Minamata drew international attention. Before 1970, green party politics and environmental issues were mostly raised to pass regulations and fulfill political ambitions. In 1972, the United Nations’ conference on human environment was attended by the representatives of many countries and it gained support for environment related issues across the globe. During the conference, UN environmental programs such asThe Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, were all created. In the 1980s, environmental movements were started at the grassroots level and “Think Global, Act Local” was widely used. Laws were created to reduce the release of hazardous substances from industries and to reduce pollution.

Currently, “Think Global, Act Local” movements aim to encourage strategies such as recycling, conserving natural aspects of the environment, encouraging environmental health, and preventing low income communities of world to exposure of dumps and factory wastes. It includes restricting the use of pesticides, fluoride and ethanol processing, and promoting recycling of electronics to prevent global warming. Environmental activists have encouraged countries to endorse the Kyoto Protocol to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. On the whole, environmentalists have taken many positive steps. For instance, they have persuaded McDonald's to abandon the use of plastic packaging and promoting use of paper wrappings in fast food chains. With the use of promotional tactics, environmentalist have succeeded in generating awareness in people about environment related issues and now, more and more people are answering the call to protect the environment.

Here’s a guide to Think Global, Act Local.

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