Happy Earth Day!
The start of Earth Day
This annual event, celebrated on April 22 around the world, is a holiday that focuses on the environment. It's meant to raise awareness of and appreciation for this beautiful planet that we live on.
First started in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI-D), the event was created after a 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara, CA. That first Earth Day celebration was a tipping point, bringing together people of all backgrounds, political affiliations, and across all socio-economic strata who were concerned about the environment and wanted to effect change. That first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, saw demonstrations all across the country with 20 million people gathered to protest the harmful things being done to the environment.
CBS News had a special presentation with Walter Cronkite, Gaylord Nelson, and more.
The growth of Earth Day
The Earth Day movement continued to spread. In 1990 it leaped onto the global stage. That year there were 200 million people in 141 countries protesting on behalf of the environment. Around this time there was also a big push towards global recycling efforts. And in 1992 there was the first United Nations Conference on the Environment and Diversity in Rio De Janeiro.
From there the movement grew and is now considered to be one of the largest secular observances around the world. Billions of people participate in a variety of ways from environmental cleanup efforts, to planting trees, to promoting activism on behalf of the environment.
Celebrating Earth Day
There are many different ways to celebrate Earth Day. Focusing on environmental issues, recycling efforts, it's also a good time to develop a personal awareness of Earth-related issues. Here, in no particular order, are ten of our favorite resources that are earth friendly today and every day:
- Join EarthDay.org to stay on top of this celebration and to be in the loop for activities and events around the world.
- Buy a water bottle that is reusable and shatterproof at Glasstic – get 10% off the last water bottle you will ever own.
- Protect yourself and the environment with 3rd Rock Sunblock – no parabens, no hormone-disrupting chemical, GMO-free, and not harmful to coral or other underwater marine life.
- Switch your laundry detergent for a great environmentally friendly product, My Green Fills. Bonus, you'll save money by getting “the last laundry detergent bottle you'll ever buy.”
- Ditch the plastic, get your own beautiful glass straws. This helps to reduce the harmful impact of plastic straws on marine life as well as reducing the use of this non-biodegradable product.
- Ditch even more plastic by bringing your own utensils when you eat out using this beautiful Bamboo Utensil Travel Set.
- Buy organic as much as possible, especially for the Dirty Dozen (those 12 fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated by pesticides, for animal products (so the animals can be raised without the use of added hormones, heavy antibiotics, and high levels of pesticides in their feed, and for the most common genetically modified crops – corn, canola, and soy.
- Take a little time to connect with the earth through the healing practice of grounding.
- Donate to an environmental cause of your choice. One organization, Defenders of Wildlife, is currently running a matching grant program that will triple your gift to help protect species around the world. Other environmental organizations include The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, The Sierra Club
- Plant a tree, preferably from a local nursery so you're sure that it will do well in your area.
Bonus – because taking time for low-tech quiet activities is never a bad idea. And if it happens to focus on the earth, so much the better.
- For the coloring page enthusiasts don't forget to get your copy of these free coloring book pages:
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