A Native American proverb goes, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Everyone who has children leaves a legacy, and part of that inheritance will be how each of us leaves our little piece of the Earth to descendants. Something so essential cannot be trivial.
Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Earth and Earth Day to get you thinking about what kind of world you want to leave to your kids.
1) Earth Day is bigger than you think. Over one billion people worldwide celebrate Earth Day every year. In fact, when the first Earth Day took place in 1970, it already had 20 million Americans participating.
2) It was a United States senator who started the whole thing. When Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to move environmental issues to the forefront in 1970, noticing the huge campus involvement in Vietnam War protests, he took his idea of Earth Day to the nation’s colleges and universities for what he referred to as a “teach-in.”
3) Senator Nelson chose the week of April 19-25 because it didn’t fall during exams or spring breaks in order to maximize student involvement.
4) During that Earth Day celebration, then New York Mayor John Lindsay shut down part of Fifth Avenue, one of the busiest streets in the city, in order to speak at a rally on the subject.
5) Also on the first Earth Day, in Washington, D.C., Congress recessed so its members could reach out to their constituents regarding the day’s events and environmental issues.
6) Senator Nelson also chose the date of April 22 because he did not ‘t want it to interfere with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover.
7) Senator Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role as founder of Earth Day.
8) Though approximately two million species of plants, animals, and other organisms on Earth have been identified and named, scientists estimate another nearly 50 million of Earth’s species have yet to be identified.
9) Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television set for three hours.
10) In Afghanistan in 2011, 28 million trees were planted by the Earth Day Network during its Earth Day celebration.
Check your area for Earth Day and Earth Week celebrations to get started now in leaving a legacy that will make your children proud.