Friday, April 22, 2016

Celebrate Earth Day by Audrey Stokes

Each year, Earth Day marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement which began in 1970. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.

The April 22nd Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

The first Earth Day, 1970 
  • capitalized on the emerging consciousness,
  • channeled the energy of the anti-war protest movement,
  • put environmental concerns front and center ,
  • achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders, 
  • led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
What do people do?
  • celebrate with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth,
  • plant trees, 
  • pick up roadside trash, 
  • conduct various programs for recycling and conservation, 
  • use recyclable containers for snacks and lunches,
  • some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction,
  • television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.
Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include: an image or drawing of planet earth; a tree, a flower or leaves depicting growth; or the recycling symbol. Colors used for Earth Day include natural colors such as green, brown or blue.
The “Earth Flag”, which was designed by John McConnell, has been described as a “flag for all people”. It features a two-sided dye printed image of the Earth from space on a dark blue field, made from recyclable, weather-resistant polyester. Margaret Mead believed that a flag that showed the earth as seen from space was appropriate.

Celebrate Earth Day!!!