Earth Day is a holiday celebrated by people from all over the world. It is a day to celebrate our home and remember the importance of caring for our environment. Many cities and towns hold festivities in honor of the holiday. People are often inspired to plant a tree, recycle old junk, or clean litter in their neighborhood on Earth Day. It’s a great opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle to think about the things that truly matter…life and the environment that supports it.
What can we learn about Earth Day?
Since Earth Day plays an important role in reminding us to appreciate and care for our home, it seems natural to want to know a little bit more about the holiday itself and where it came from.
1. Earth Day was modeled after grassroots hippie movements. In 1969 Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Democrat, wanted to created a movement to raise the profile of environmental issues in order to present to congress a need for an Environmental Protection Agency. He modeled his Earth Day campaign after Vietnam War teach-ins. Soon, the idea caught on and people held demonstrations in cities throughout the country on April 22, 1970.
2. Earth Day didn’t go global until 1990. Even though Earth Day was introduced in the 70’s, it didn’t catch on globally until 1990. According to LiveScience, more than 200 million people in more than 141 countries participated in environmental activities that year.
3. Earth Day is a communist? Senator Nelson made a mistake when he chose the date for Earth Day to be celebrated. He specifically selected the date of April 22nd because he wanted to avoid coinciding with any other holidays. He was unaware that the date he chose held significance in the Communist Soviet Union since it was the birth date of Vladimir Lenin.
4. Earth Day has a twin. There are actually two Earth Days, one on April 22nd and one on March 20th. March 20th is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in southern latitudes. At the exact moment of the equinox, when the sun crosses the plane of the equator, the Japanese Peace Bell is rung at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
5. Earth Day lends a hand. Earth Day has contributed to several steps in the right direction when it comes to protecting our environment. It has played a role in establishing and passing the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Endangered Species acts.
Unfortunately, Earth Day is only one holiday. If it were up to me, celebrating the importance of our planet wouldn’t be reserved for one day but would be part of everyone’s daily life. Until that happens, Earth Day will continue it’s yearly visit to remind us of the beautiful planet we tend to take for granted.