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Earth Day ~ April 22

March 31st, 2015

earth day

Each year, Earth Day – April 22  – marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement.  The idea was that of Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, who was devastated after witnessing the ravages of a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

As a result of his efforts, on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness and the extinction of wildlife, suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Today, it is celebrated by billions of people around the world and is observed in over 190 countries. Worldwide Earth Day celebrations utilize educational programs to inform people of ways they can help protect the environment and our natural resources.

Earth Day worked because of a spontaneous response at the grassroots level. No one thought they would organize 20 million demonstrators!  Just think what could happen if we garnered that kind of response to a few simple tasks that each of us could easily do in just ONE day.  Think about it.  What a difference we could make!

A few simple things that provide huge impacts might include planting a tree every year, switching off lights when not in use and using recyclable bags for grocery shopping.  Easy enough, huh?  Check out our Recork and Recycle Pinterest page for some great recycling ideas.

Or you could always “save water and shower with a friend” like they did in the 70’s…

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