On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans coast-to-coast took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthier, more sustainable environment.
It was the first Earth Day, organized by then US Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was horrified by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and heartened by the power of the civil rights and anti-war protests.
Earth Day 1970 galvanized groups that had been isolated in their fight against pollution and the loss of nature. It led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. And it achieved a rare bipartisan and nondenominational alignment, attracting support from rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, CEOs and labor leaders.
Flash forward 43 years. Environmental awareness continues to grow, but we’re still in denial about how we humans affect our planet. We are splintered on the causes of global warming. And we are often paralyzed by our feelings of helplessness.
Earth Day 2013 is Monday, April 22. And it’s the perfect excuse to come together again, to join others who are making big changes, and to firm our commitment to taking greener steps:
- Hold fast to your 4 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (compost).
- Celebrate the day and find local activities by typing “Earth Day 2013 (your town)” into your search engine bar.
- Teach your kids a thing or two about being green. They are our ambassadors to the future…and the future looks green!
Remember that the Earth is our only home. We’re searching for earth-like planets, and have found several contenders for the role. Colonizing another planet could be cool, but isn’t it easier just to take better care of the one we’re on?
How will you celebrate Earth Day 2013?