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Eating our way through Earth Day

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog to bring you information on other green efforts at Google)

Today, Earth Day turns 40 and is now celebrated in more than 198 countries. Here at Google, we’ll be focusing on one of the planet’s more enjoyable aspects: its food. (Though, to be fair, we’re always focused on food around here). Our offices are hosting farmers markets, planting herb gardens, hosting talks on sustainable cooking and much more.

At our Mountain View headquarters, we’re enjoying solar cooking demonstrations, classes on composting and local food sourcing, distribution of reusable shopping bags and discussions on healthy cooking and eating. We’re also hosting a speaker from The Nature Conservancy and giving tours of our on-site 1.6MW solar panel installation and the 400kW Bloom Energy fuel cells. Today is also Take Your Child to Work Day, so we have plenty of kid-friendly activities centered around healthy, sustainable habits to complement the bounce house, movies and games.

The focus on food is not limited to Mountain View. Our Dublin office is removing all disposable cups, Stockholm is running a special Earth Day food menu in their cafe, Wroclaw employees are planting seeds and Amsterdam is overhauling its salad bar with organic offerings. And the cafe in our London office is sourcing all of its food from within 50 miles of the office, as well as organizing a bike-to-work effort coordinated with Google Maps.

Beyond food, we’ve been busy with a number of other Earth-related initiatives. Last month, Google Maps biking directions launched in the U.S. and we hope that having these directions on hand will help you find less carbon-intensive ways to commute to work or meet friends. Just the other week we added a new feature in Google Finance that reports companies’ carbon disclosure rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project. Oh, and don’t forget about the new kids on the block.

If you’re looking to make a difference, check for local efforts or make a pledge to have an impact. We’re working to minimize our own carbon footprint, and hope that you’ll take a moment today to consider how you can make a positive impact on our planet.

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