EARTH DAY HISTORY:
Earth Day was created in 1970 and according to www.earthday.org it marks the “anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement”. Up to this point people were oblivious to how pollution and environmental concerns were impacting our day to day lives as well as our health and the health of the planet. A senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, was determined to make Americans aware that the planet is in danger if things like oil and chemical spills, loss of wilderness and habitats, air pollution and more kept happening at the rates they were going. Inspired by the anti-war protests on college campuses during the Vietnam War, Nelson wanted to take that concept and create a grassroots efforts that would focus on environmental consciousness. He channeled the energy of college students and organized campus teach-ins. April 22 was chosen as it fell between spring break and final exams hoping to gain lots of student participation. What started as an event within college campuses quickly caught the attention of the media and inspired millions of people and turned into what we know as Earth Day today in America. The Earth Day concept then went global in the 1990’s which has helped bring environmental issues to the forefront across the world.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY:
Here are five things you can do to celebrate Earth Day (or do any day!):
- Take a hike! Discover trails, parks, natural areas in your town, county, or state. Look for native plants and animals. Take a sack with you and pick up trash along the way, too!
- Plant a tree or start a garden. Here is a great resource to help you with tree care and a great resource for starting a garden.
- Take an evaluation of your home’s energy usage. Look around and see what changes might be able to be made to make it make energy efficient. One simple change is changing out light bulbs. Check out this great resource to learn more about different types of lightbulbs that are more energy efficient.
- Start a compost bin – Composting information
- Reuse items around your house to make a recycled art masterpiece!
Most of all take a moment and appreciate this great planet we live on! Appreciate the birds, the bees, the water ways, and your favorite outdoor space. Just one small action, like picking up trash on a walk through your neighborhood, can make a big difference. Evaluate ways you can be more environmentally conscious and help spread that awareness to others. We only have one planet Earth, so let’s take care of it every day!