Arlington, VA

This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. There is something sadly poetic about all of us locked inside during this milestone at the peak of spring.

The pandemic has taken so many lives and left countless others seriously ill. It’s triggered a major economic downturn that may linger beyond medical cures. It’s upended the way we work, learn, shop, eat, travel and connect.

Yet, undeniably, it’s also resulted in clean air on a scale most of us have never seen. Noise pollution from cars and planes has plummeted. Nature seems more vibrant even during a quick walk around the block.

Life can change faster than we imagine. How we adapt is the test.

COVID-19 reminds us that global action is possible to address and mitigate dire threats once they’re acknowledged. It also shows how quickly governments — including Arlington’s — can act given the urgency. The conversation shifts from what should be done to what must be done.

Earthday.org declares that Wednesday’s anniversary “must be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.”

We’re experiencing the possibilities of collective action right now.

Working with residents and businesses, the Rethink Energy team remains even more committed to addressing — and defeating — climate change with the help of a carbon-neutral Arlington and similar efforts around the world.

Together let’s keep working toward that healthy and sustainable future. We can do it. There really isn’t a choice.

Some quick steps to take action now.

Happy Earth Day — and many more.

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