Bike To Work Day! World Bee Day, Endangered Species Day, ESC Youth Art Contest!
Bike to Work Day! World Bee Day, Endangered Species Day, ESC Youth Art Contest!
IT’S BIKE TO WORK DAY
National Bike to Work Day takes place on the third Friday in May, right in the middle of National Bike Month. The observance encourages us to bike to work, but it also raises awareness of cyclists as they commute to and from work each day.
Bike to Work Day was started by the League of American Bicyclists back in 1956 to promote the health benefits of cycling to work. Did you know 40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles? That makes bicycling a feasible and fun way to get around.
As more and more people take to bicycles for transportation to and from work, it’s important for both cyclists and drivers to share the road safely. Both must be aware of the traffic laws and follow them. More and more communities are adding bike lanes to improve safety. In the United States, from the year 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters grew by more than 47 percent.
Some of the benefits of commuting to work by bicycle include:
- Physical fitness – Cyclists get an aerobic workout before and after work. It’s also low impact exercise that is easy on the joints, unlike jogging.
- Fuel savings – They save fuel costs, which puts more money back in their pockets.
- Smaller carbon footprint – By cycling, they reduce carbon emissions resulting in cleaner air.
- Automobile longevity – Get more life out of their motor vehicle by using it for more necessary trips.
Why does National Bike to Work Day matter to us? It promotes the bicycle as a healthy, safe and climate friendly alternative for commuting to work.
One fun fact: in 2014, the world’s first solar-powered bicycle path is revealed that in the Netherlands, a place known for bike-friendliness, an entire bike path is made with concrete modules embedded with solar panels with the idea of using the energy to power street lights.
DEEPER DIVE: Calendar, Bike League, Days of the Year, Industry Week
WORLD BEE DAY
I see your Bike to Work Day, and I raise you a World Bee Day! The country of Slovenia back in 2014, proposed that the United Nations mark May 20th as World Bee Day. It took almost four years to get it done, but in December 2017, the UN and its member states unanimously approved the request, and World Bee Day was born.
But isn’t it May 20th? Yes. It’s the birthday of Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jansa, considered to be the founder of modern beekeeping. He taught beekeeping at the imperial Viennese court in the 18th century, during the reign of the Holy Roman/Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa.
It’s been said that every third spoonful of food depends on pollination. That makes bees some of the most important creatures on earth. While they’re not the planet’s only pollinators, they are some of the most important.
Bostjan Noc, president of the Slovenian Beekeepers Association (and founder of the World Bee Day movement), said, “To talk about reducing world hunger without ensuring conditions for the existence of bees and other pollinators is to pull the wool over people’s eyes.”
Today bees, pollinators, and many other insects are declining in abundance. This day provides an opportunity for all of us – whether we work for governments, organizations or civil society or are concerned citizens – to promote actions that will protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping.
And that’s why World Bee Day matters to us. Also, honey.
DEEPER DIVE: World Bee Day, FAO.org
ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY
Speaking of World Bee Day, it’s also Endangered Species Day. Every year on the third Friday in May, thousands of people around the world participate in it by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species.
This its the 16th year. This global day of action and celebration was created and founded by David Robinson and the Endangered Species Coalition in 2006. On Endangered Species Day, wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups, nonprofits, and individuals hold special programs or events for people of all ages. People around the world participate in these activities or others.
Surf on over to Endangered.org and cruise the map on that website. There might be an event happening in your neck of the woods! The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, as well as business and community organizations. Oh and also regular folk like you and me.
It exists to stop the human-caused extinction of at-risk species, to protect and restore their habitats and to guide fragile population along the road to recovery.
The coalition uses grassroots mobilization, education and targeted campaigns. Although the Endangered Species Coalition is an U.S.-based, U.S.-focused organization, its work has national implications. And that’s why the ESC and Endangered Species Day matters to us–species extinction creates biodiversity loss, which exacerbates climate change.
DEEPER DIVE: Endangered.org, Justly Biodiverse
ENDANGERED SPECIES COALITION YOUTH ART CONTEST!
And just to add to that, the Endangered Species Coalition has sponsored its 2022 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest! This year we had more than 700 contest entries. Our preliminary judges, who are a group of art educators, artists, and arts professionals from around the U.S., narrowed down this large group of art to the 40 semi-finalist works.
According to the website the artworks submitted to the contest this year were exceptional, making for a very challenging selection of the semi-finalist works by our panel of judges. The gallery of 40 selected semi-finalist images grades K-12 can be viewed on The Endangered Species Coalition’s Flickr Gallery. Winning grade category and a grand prize submissions will be selected by a panel of judges in the coming weeks.
DEEPER DIVE: Convention on Biological Diversity, Wikipedia, UNEP