April 22nd, 2017 marked the 47th annual Earth Day and Mother Earth was celebrated with various worldwide events. And this got me thinking . . . what exactly is Earth Day and how is it “celebrated”? It also got me thinking . . . what I do for the environment? At work we have compost, recycle and trash bins. I find myself stopping and having to put in a little thought about where I am going to put my trash. And that’s carried over to my home life. I have become more aware about recycling home products. BUT I must admit things stop there. I’m far from being informed, make any other changes or participate in Earth Day events.
But I was still curious about Earth Day at its history. It all started in 1970 when United States Senator Gaylord Nelson felt there was not enough awareness and concern regarding environmental issues. The celebrations were originally held at several colleges and communities in the Unites States and in 1990 it became a global wide event that includes week long events.
I decided to see how people in my area celebrate our Planet. I live in a suburb of San Francisco and I was aware that The City has an annual big event but I wanted to see what was happening around me. I did a search, and I was surprised to see how many events were happening close to me! Events were planned at recycling centers, state and local parks, schools and an Earth Day cleanup around the county.
I learned that for 17 years there is an annual state-wide restoration and cleanup in parks and communities. With the help of 5000 environmental organizations, I learned that it truly is a global event with approximately 1 billion people, in 193 countries participating. There is even an “Earth Anthem” which is a song by Indian poet Abhay Kumar that is the official Earth Day anthem.
Participation varies with some people taking a political stance and join marches and protest. But the overall goal remains the same . . . recognizing the importance of environmental education. There are many organizations you can get involved with. For a moderate recycler like myself there is plenty of information available to get informed and make changes. Here are few quick and easy tips to you can do to help the environment:
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Unplug devices and turn off electronics when not in use
- Use public transportation or carpool
- Upgrade your appliances and your home to energy efficient options
Recycle and reuse when you can!
I feel a little more educated on what Earth Day is and how people celebrate. Now I need to make some lifestyle changes and next year I might even celebrate with the world!