Earth Day 2014 is right around the corner. On April 22nd, millions of people from around the world will come together to celebrate and promote environmentalism. Let’s explore some of the lesser-known facts and trivia about Earth Day as we prepare for its arrival.
Nelson and Hayes
In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin established the first Earth Day in response to increasing concerns about the environment. In particular, Senator Nelson was disturbed by a large oil spill in California the previous year. He hoped to take the energy of the anti-Vietnam War movement and direct it toward issues like clean water, air pollution, and endangered species. Nelson selected Denis Hayes, a former Class President at Stanford University, to coordinate the first Earth Day.
Earth Day Network
Hayes currently heads the Earth Day Network, which is involved is promoting Earth Day initiatives year round. Earth Day Network, from its headquarters in Washington D.C., is one of the world’s most respected environmental organizations.
Earth Day is now celebrated by more than one billion people in 192 countries, making it the most widely recognized secular holiday in the world. Earth Day has influenced many people over the years and promises to influence many more in the years to come, making it a key player in the fight for a greener tomorrow.
Earth Day Network has established the theme for Earth Day 2014 as “Green Cities”. The focus will be on renewable energy options in urban areas, such as solar energy and electric-powered transportation. Earth Day Network believes that one of biggest challenges in moving toward a more environmentally friendly world is how to make our urban areas have less of a negative impact on our environment and plans to focus its educational efforts in that direction.
Everyday is Earth Day
Earth Day Network provides many ideas and avenues for people to get involved in Earth Day via their website, whether on April 22nd, or year round. Examples include everything from lobbying your congressmen on issues facing our environmental well-being to simple, everyday actions which can reduce your impact on the environment such as turning the temperature of your water heater down. Also, Earth Day Network is always taking applications for volunteer positions. I highly recommend visiting their website for more details.