ALL ABOUT EARTH DAY Earth Day is a day put aside for appreciating the planet that sustains human life and to promote ways to help ensure the Earth’s continued health and success. Earth Day celebrations, held on April 22nd, are annual events that are held locally and nationally to educate individuals on the planet’s current condition and ways to ensure that the Earth remains healthy for generations to come. The History of Earth Day Earth Day was first proposed by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in the late 1960s, when Americans were dealing with widespread changes in society. At that time, protest was in the air, with anti-war activities and a growing awareness of environmental problems caused by the industrialized society. The Senator began to understand that the growing activism could be implemented to change mankind’s relationship with the Earth – to provide more environmentally friendly policies that would ensure the safety and health of future generations. The environmental movement quickly grew and, in 1969, John McConnell, who had for many years promoted peace and social justice throughout the world, proposed a worldwide day of appreciation for the Earth at the UNESCO Conference on the Environment. As a result of the work of Senator Nelson and John McConnell, the first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970. Other countries soon followed America’s lead, and today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 nations around the world. Earth Day Celebrations in the United States Americans celebrate Earth Day with an assortment of events, including area cleanup campaigns, tree-planting activities, children’s programs to educate on keeping the Earth healthy, and forums designed to promote Earth-healthy programs in local communities. Your local park or nature preserve may give special talks or programs in celebration of Earth Day100. A variety of websites online are available to help you find local events to celebrate Earth Day in your community. How You Can Participate in Earth Day You can help celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness of the importance of recycling, reducing pollution and maintaining a healthy quality of life for all the Earth’s inhabitants by attending a local event to promote awareness of the planet’s importance in sustaining life for everyone. You can also initiate activities at home to ensure that your family is doing all they can to keep the Earth clean and healthy, such as: ➊ Re-double your efforts to recycle to reduce the need for landfills. ➋ Plant trees and shrubbery on your property to promote natural shade and reduce energy use. ➌ Review your lawn and garden care to ensure you are using the least polluting types of herbicides and fertilizers. ➍ Read about climate change and what you can do to stop rising temperatures. ➎ Contribute to a political group that works to help ensure Earth-friendly policies. Celebrate Earth Day by attending an event in your community or by individually engaging in actions that help to preserve our extraordinary planet.