The History of Earth Day
“I am the Earth, and the Earth is me. Each blade of grass, Each honey tree, each bit of mud, And stick and stone is blood and muscle, skin and bone” – Jane Yolen (Poetry Foundation, 1995).
Every year on the 22nd of April, the world comes together to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Up to 1970, as America was growing its industries, belching out smoke and sludge was a sign of prosperity. Air pollution was common and Americans were oblivious of the consequences of pollution to the environment and their health (EarthDay, 2022).
Our earth is a very wonderful place, but it needs our help to thrive. Senator Gaylord Nelson started Earth Day to enforce legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment. The first earth day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, which still exists today, and some of our most important environmental laws being passed such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
Earth Day is all about educating people about conservation, protesting against climate change and global warming, and encouraging volunteering for the good of the planet (Wurzburger, 2021). The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet. What Will You Do?
It is time to choose both a prosperous and sustainable future and time to restore nature and build a healthy planet for our children and their children. Unless we start acting now, climate change will deeply damage economies, increase scarcity, drain profits and job prospects, and impact us all (EarthDay, 2022).
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
Through regulations, incentives, and public/private partnerships, governments hold the keys to transforming and building the green economy. Governments must also incentivize their citizens, businesses, and institutions to build a resilient future. What each of us does, and how we do it, has a huge ripple effect on our ecosystems. We have the power to lobby for and support businesses that take active steps to protect our environment through their practices and climate-friendly investments and to bring those who aren’t back to the earth that sustains their very being.
EarthDay. (2022). THE HISTORY OF EARTH DAY. Retrieved from Earth Day: https://www.earthday.org/history/
Poetry Foundation. (1995). Earth Day. Retrieved from Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54673/earth-day
Wurzburger, A. (2021, April 22). What Is Earth Day and Why Do We Celebrate? Retrieved from People: https://people.com/human-interest/what-is-earth-day-and-why-do-we-celebrate/
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Sarah Hobson, Ph.D. specializes in supporting teams, departments and schools, businesses, and government agencies in building inclusive innovative change-making communities who understand how to connect well with and join diverse populations in providing needed sustainable resources for all youth and families.