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How Old is “Earth Day” You Ask?
It Turns __ in 2017
Thank You, Gaylord! How did one man “Gaylord Nelson” give birth to an idea, which has completely launched a global movement of environmental awareness?
There’s an event upon us that’s growing more robust and exceptional with the passing of time. On April 22, 2017, Earth Day will celebrate its __ birthday.
How Earth Day Came To Be
Where some view failure, others view stepping stones to success. Thankfully, Earth Day Founder, Gaylord Nelson, was of the latter persuasion.
Small Town Guy, Big Picture Vision
Gaylord Nelson was born in the small town of Clear Lake, WI, in 1916. He got involved in state politics after obtaining a law degree from the University of WI-Madison
and quickly noticed the lack of government attention devoted to the environment.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, this small town man hatched a big time plan to convince President Kennedy to embark on a conservation tour that would shed light on environmental issues. Kennedy loved the idea, but the eventual tour fell flat with the media and public.
Undeterred by a less-than-spectacular tour, Nelson remained in the Senate throughout the ‘60s and re-dedicated himself to speaking out about the degradation of the environment. He rallied the public, but the issues remained largely ignored on a political level.
The vast turmoil of the ‘60s gave rise to a wave of activism. Nelson boldly followed the lead of grassroots organizers and declared a National environmental “teach-in” day to draw attention to his cause.
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The Day a Democrat and a Republican Agreed
With a stellar move that broadened support, Democrat Gaylord Nelson enlisted the help of conservation-minded Congressman, Republican Peter McCloskey. In 1970, the two men successfully organized the first Earth Day, that also led to the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (A lesson in political teamwork)
The World Gives Earth Day a Big Birthday Hug
What started as a little idea by a small town guy has burst into an ever growing worldwide movement. Earth Day events are scheduled globally with calls-to-action ranging from a Great Wall litter clean-up in China to an environmental film screening in Paraguay.
Worldwide Earth Day Events
For residents in the U.S., there is a multitude of events taking place on state and local levels. Please check the List above for events taking place near you. Know of one we should add to list? Just let us know here Suggest an Earth Day Event.
What Can Each Person Do? You Matter… Your Actions Add Up!
Though much attention is placed on April 22nd as a call-to-action and unification for the global community to draw eyes toward the environment, we can each take steps daily all year long, to lessen our negative impact on climate change, pollution, and the degradation of the planet. Just a few ideas are:
- Public transportation, car pool or a good bike ride
- Use those curly, energy saving light bulbs
- Turn lights off when not home (power strips)
- Choose biodegradable, 100% compostable products
- Reduce use of petroleum based plastic
- Support organizations that support the environment
- and Plant a tree or have one planted for you
“Never Doubt What A Small Group Can Do…”
Let’s each of us promise to ourselves, and each other, to “Make Every Day Earth Day”. It can be overwhelming to think about what we can do to help support the Earth. But, when we each do a little every day, we will all make a difference.
In the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
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