Green Up Vermont Day, Tomorrow! Climate Crusader–Madeleine M. Kunin, The Climate Daily Reforestation Campaign!

by | May 5, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Green Up Vermont day, tomorrow! Plus climate crusader–Madeleine M. Kunin, and The Climate Daily Reforestation Campaign!


GREEN UP DAY VERMONT                      

Back in 1969, Robert Babcock, a Burlington Free Press reporter, approached Vermont Governor Deane Davis with the idea of cleaning up Vermont’s roadsides. Governor Davis decided the idea needed a year to plan out. He then appointed Robert Babcock and Ted Riehle from his own senior staff to co-chair the steering committee. 

The first Green Up Day was launched statewide on April 18, 1970. The Interstate Highways closed for three hours, 9am–12pm for litter pick up by volunteers. Schools bused kids all over Vermont to lend a hand while the Governor oversaw everything from his helicopter. He even landed occasionally on the Interstate to praise volunteers. 

According to news reports, about 70,000 volunteers cleaned up nearly 100% of all roads. According to Gov. Davis’s administration, the massive volunteer effort during Green Up Day saved taxpayers $200,000 in road clean up fees. Nine years later, in 1979, under the direction of the Governor’s office, a group of concerned citizens came together to form the nonprofit Vermont Green Up Inc., which later became Green Up Vermont. Green Up Vermont’s mission is to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways, and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day while raising public awareness about the health, economic, and visual benefits of a litter-free environment year-round.

How does Green Up Vermont work? Green trash bags are distributed throughout the state which are then used by volunteers to clean up the roads in their area. The State of Vermont cleans up the State Highways, and Green Up Day volunteers clean up all the town roads. Citizens can pick up bags at the local town hall or other community location. The volunteers are often asked to pick a location that they will be responsible for which is often the road on which they live. The bags are often left on the road side for pick up by town road crews or volunteers will be asked to bring bags to a specific location. All towns have a coordinator who can be contacted with questions. 

DEEPER DIVE: GUDV, Wikipedia, Gov. Deane Davis



Madeleine Kunin is founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities and served as its first board chair between 1991-93.  She was one of the first leaders in the US to recognize the threat of global climate change, and in 1988 helped launch the National Governors Association Task Force on Global Climate Change. Why does Madeleine M. Kunin matter to us?

She was also the first woman governor of Vermont and the first woman in the U.S. to serve as a three term governor. She was also a state legislator for three terms and Lt. Governor for two terms. Kunin served as US Ambassador to Switzerland (1996-99), where she facilitated the return of Swiss bank account funds to holocaust survivors; Deputy US Secretary of Education (1993-96); and while governor, she scored significant achievements for the environment, education, and children’s services. 

Kunin testified frequently before the US Congress on federal environmental legislation. So It’s no surprise she founded the Institute for Sustainable Communities. Later in her career, she was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Vermont and a bicentennial scholar in residence at Middlebury College. She was awarded the 2009 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal for public service. 

Check out a trailer to a documentary of her in the Deeper Dive section of this story at

DEEPER DIVE: ISC, Madeleine M. Kunin, documentary



We’re making progress with our Climate Champions 50/100 reforestation campaign, so we’re keeping it going!


Thank you to the listeners of The Climate Daily who donated to The Climate Champions 50/100 campaign! There’s still work to do to get us to 10,000 trees. That’s why we’re extending the campaign through May to give more of you the chance to become climate champions. What’s a climate champion, you ask? A climate champion proves that a small group of people can make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time.  

How? Our company, The Climate, is partnering with over 30 international tree-planting organizations–ALONG WITH our climate champions– to re-plant, and regrow forests all over the world, by planting ten thousand trees at a time. Why? Because science says the best way to combat climate change is to restore nature. And the fastest way to restore nature is to plant and grow a trillion trees by 2030, and the fastest way to plant and grow a trillion trees is to replant and regrow forests. The fastest way to do that is to plant ten thousand trees at a time. So, we’re looking for folks to donate $50 or $100 one time, to help us plant 10,000 trees at a time, in one of seven regions around the planet.

(Which our tree planting partners will do. They’re the tree-planting professionals.) 

Please visit Click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. Again, visit Click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. And if you want to start your own team of climate champions, reach out to us at info@ We’ll help you put together your own small group of climate champions to make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time. 

(Planting 10 thousand trees–a 20-acre forest!) 

Wouldn’t it be great to be the change you want to see in the world? Go to and become part of something special. Become a climate champion.  Thank you!!

DEEPER DIVE: 50/100 Campaign, Trillion Tree Project