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Celebrating Earth Day

Every year on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day. On this day, there are events held all over the world to demonstrate support for protecting the environment. Earth Day is a relatively young holiday, the first celebration being in 1970 as a nationwide event.

During 1970, there was a huge student movement going on in our nation against the war that was happening at the time. Earth Day was started with the idea of bringing awareness to the anti-war movement going on as well as bringing about a consciousness about air and water pollution; the idea was to put environmental protection on the political agenda. The idea worked, and Republicans and Democrats alike supported the idea and the first Earth Day eventually led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency as well as the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act. Fast forward to the year 1990 and the original coordinator of the first Earth Day, Denis Hayes, took the day international and organized events in 141 nations.

So what does this mean for us today? We’ve been celebrating Earth Day ever since 1970, but what does that look like for you and your organization? For you as an individual? Here is a short list to get you started thinking about what you can do this year, if you haven’t started already:

  • Make a recycling plan – If you don’t already have one, it’s time to get one started. Learn what you can properly recycle and what can’t be recycled.

  • Plant a tree – You may think this idea is cliché, but it’s a simple and easy way to give back to the environment and play your part this Earth Day.

  • Go paperless – Most bills come in two formats: paper or online. If you haven’t made the switch to online, do the environment a favor and start handling your bills online.

  • Walk and/or organize a car pool – Walking is great for your health and reduces the emissions a car will put into the environment. If walking isn’t an option, start or join an existing car pool to get more cars off the road.

  • Go to an Earth Day fair – There’s probably some environmental fair going on around you where you can learn about environmental friendly products, healthy and locally grown food, and even animal care demonstrations. If there isn’t one around you, perhaps it’s time for you to start one in your area!

  • Remember that the Earth needs taken care of every day – Earth Day is a great reminder, but in reality taking care of the Earth is an everyday task. Whatever you start on Earth Day (if you haven’t started anything already) should be reinforced throughout the year to remind yourself and your organization that taking care of the environment is a priority.

 

This list is by no means the end-all, be-all list of Earth Day activities, but it will definitely get you started. There are a ton of movements that you can already join, and if you need more ideas be sure to visit earthday.org for more information.