Celebrate Earth Day and demonstrate support for environmental protection. Do your part to protect our earth’s integrity for all living things.
Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, founded National Earth Day in 1970 after an immense oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. According to the Earth Day website, Nelson wanted to energize the “emerging public consciousness” about air and water pollution, which would bring environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, incited 20 million Americans, who “took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a health, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” Due to the national public outcry, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passages of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day is now the largest secular observance in the world, according to the website. Celebrated by more than a billion people, it is a day of action, changing social and political behavior.
This year is Earth Day’s 46th year, however in order to keep moving forward the movement is already looking toward the future and 2020, the 50th anniversary. Over the next five years, the goal is to plant 7.8 billion trees and make cities 100 percent renewable. To make this goal a reality Earth Day 2016’s theme is “Trees for the Earth.”
Trees are an important combatant to climate change and help us breathe clean air. They absorb excess CO2 from the atmosphere, along with odors and pollutant gases, and filter particulates out of the air.
Join the cause and celebrate National Earth Day.
13 Ways to Make a Difference
- Plant a tree. Follow the Earth Day theme and get planting to reach the goal for 2020.
- Walk to work. If you live in a walkable city, avoid the car and get in those steps.
- Save water. Skip the shower or bath for the day.
- Volunteer. Check out the Nature Conservancy’s map of volunteer opportunities across the United States.
- Save energy. Change your light bulbs to energy-saving fluorescents.
- Set up a compost bin. Turn your food waste into soil.
- Eat less meat. The Meat industry generates almost 1/5 of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Make a difference, by reducing your meat consumption. To start, try meatless Mondays!
- Stop using disposable plastic. Get a glass water bottle and glass containers, or any reusable bottles.
- Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz. Learn how to reduce your footprint by taking the quiz and learning what you can due to make a change.
- Buy local produce. By shopping locally, you reduce your carbon footprint and eat healthier.
- Recycle electronic waste. According to the Earth Day website, every year more than 50 million tons of electronic waste is generated by the U.S. Make a difference and change the way you dispose of your electronics.
- Add your support as a citizen signer.
- Don’t stop. Even after April 22, keep up with these changes. Continue to buy local, use that reusable water bottle and create soil with your food waste. Just because the day is over, doesn’t mean you need to stop caring about the earth.
If undertaking all of these steps seems a little daunting, then take it slow and just make three simple changes for Earth Day this year.
In honor of the day, get to know Ingredients of Outlier: Women Game Changers, Sharon Guynup. As an environmental journalist and photographer, Guynup understands the beauty and solace of the outdoors. She is an advocate for endangered species, she utilizes writing to make a positive impact on the world.
How will you join the cause and make a positive impact? What small changes will you make this year? Comment below and share with friends.