That’s a powerful image, isn’t it? I wish we could somehow find a way as a species to celebrate Earth Day every day. I don’t just mean those of us who already do that anyway, but ALL of us; every, last human on the planet. The world would be a much nicer place. At least we have one day designated out of the year to bring it to everyone’s attention.
For those of you wondering how Earth Day got started, well, it got started the way many great ideas did: with the power of people. 🙂 Back in the 1960’s, when everyone was spreading love and flower power, they were also getting together for sit-ins and rallies to protest the war in Vietnam.
Back then, people were just starting to become more concerned about the environment and the impact that humans were having upon it. I wasn’t born when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire because of all the pollution and oil in it (in 1969), but you can imagine that when an entire river catches fire, it also catches peoples’ attention. But it wasn’t enough.
A U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. Gaylord Nelson, decided to do something to bring environmental issues to national public attention. He talked President Kennedy into going on a conservation tour through several states, but even that wasn’t enough. So Mr. Nelson got the idea to organize a giant “sit-in” for the environment. How big was it, you may ask?
“On April 22, 1970, 20 million people gathered across the country to show their support for the environment on the very first Earth Day. The events were far larger than any protest occurring at the time. In New York City alone, 10,000 people gathered for concerts, lectures and rallies. More than 2,000 colleges and universities switched from their ongoing anti-war protests to join in pro-Earth celebrations. Even Congress recessed for the day. Earth Day was credited with putting environmental issues on the political map and launching the environmental movement in the United States.
In 1990, Earth Day became a global event. Two hundred million people around the world staged dramatic displays of environmental support, such as a 500-mile human chain in France. In 2000, Earth Day entered cyberspace, with e-mails and live Web events bolstering participation.” ~ Source
Earth Day has been responsible for the creation of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the Endangered Species Act. People all over the world have started recycling, re-using, conserving, and fighting for the environment.
But it’s still not enough.
We need more people, like me, like you, like others you probably know. We need as many people as we can get!
“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.” ~ Marshall McLuhan
You may be wondering what one person can possibly do to make a difference. Believe me when I tell you that one person CAN make a difference! Here is a list of 50 things you can do, starting right now, to help save the planet. 🙂 Not enough? How about 350 things you can do? At this point, every little bit helps.
If you want to do even more or learn more about what you can do in your particular area of the world, consider joining up with the Earth Day Network. The point is not to get you to donate (although that helps!), but rather, to get you involved. Even if you don’t have money to give, maybe you can volunteer some time, or materials, or help spread the word.
Other good communities who are trying to save the planet include:
and many, many more…find a cause that speaks to you and do what you can. We’re all on this spaceship earth together. We’re all connected and Mother Earth needs our help! 🙂 Thanks for reading and have a WONDERFUL EARTH DAY!