Environmental Leaders Highlight How Michiganders Are Tackling Climate Change on Earth Day

KALAMAZOO, MI – Michigan leaders held an Earth Day event to highlight some of the most pressing environmental issues for the state.  

Following are quotes from participants in today’s event on a variety of state issues: 

“I am incredibly thankful to all the volunteers who showed up today and helped us clean up downtown Kalamazoo,” said Rep. Rogers. “I also truly appreciate the opportunity to partner with local environmental organizations to remind our community that Earth Day is a day to take action to address environmental challenges. As a lifelong environmentalist, I know just how important it is that we continue to work together toward transformative change. This is why I am extremely proud that Michigan continues to be a leader on this issue through efforts like the MI Healthy Climate Plan.”

“Many may be surprised to know concrete foundations are the highest carbon footprint in new home construction,” said David Behnke, Greater Jackson Habitat for Humanity. “We are proud to have accomplished a no concrete foundation in our recent builds and how this has not only saved us and future homeowners money, but also reduced our carbon footprint, making for a greener community.” 

“Consumers Energy promised to shut down the Campbell plant and get off its addiction to coal,” said Deirdre Courtney, PhD Candidate, Western Michigan University and West Michigan Environmental Council (WMEAC). “Instead of pivoting to more fossil fuels that ruin our environment, we are urging the state to take a stand and call on the utility company to help meet Michigan’s energy needs with renewable resources, more energy efficiency and investments in storage options for energy.” 

“This week the state rolled out the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan, which has the potential to help speed up our state’s shift to clean energy in a way that helps everyone,” said Derrell Slaughter, Michigan Clean Energy Advocate at NRDC who is an appointed member of the Council on Climate Solutions. “The implementation of the plan would accomplish big things; like increasing the renewable energy standard to 60% by 2030, making important commitments to increase distributed and community solar, moving Michigan off coal-fired power by 2030, and setting a statewide goal of limiting Michiganders’ utility bills to no more than 6% of their annual income. We must now work to implement these recommendations to create a healthier Michigan. Earth Day reminds us that the time is now to tackle the climate crisis head on and this plan shows us how the Great Lake State can do its part.” 


State Representative Julie M. Rogers hosted an Earth Day Clean Up event today, which kicked off in front of the 60th District Service Office and featured speakers sharing examples of the work being done across Michigan to create a healthier environment for everyone. Volunteers listened with their cleaning supplies at hand, before everyone made their way to clean up the downtown streets.  

Images from the event are available by clicking here. 

Earth Day 2022 comes 52 years after the first Earth Day, which mobilized over 20 million citizens to demand action on the environmental challenges of the time. Today, Earth Day is observed in around 190 countries and mobilizes one billion people and close to 100,000 organizations. 

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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