Every year on April 22, people in more than 192 countries come together to celebrate Earth Day. It’s one of the most widely observed international holidays, and the reason it’s caught on is that it works! Whether it’s big or small, everyone can make a difference in some way so take some time today to think about what you can do!
How did Earth Day start?
The idea of a day to highlight the Earth and world peace was first suggested in 1969 at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco by activist John McConnell. Initially, the day was paired with the first day of spring (March 21, 1970). Secretary Thant of the UN gave his approval and Earth Day became official.
Just over a month later, another Earth Day was held on April 22 as proposed by US Senator Gaylord Nelson. It wasn’t until 1990 when Denis Hayes began organizing the April event beyond the United States. Since then, April 22 has become the internationally recognized date for the Earth Day.
What it means
The main goal of Earth Day has always been to raise awareness to the plight of the environment. While initiatives to protect the environment are becoming more common (like the upcoming World Penguin Day), Earth Day is still the biggest. From government policies, to the destruction of delicate ecosystems, to climate change – Earth Day aims to address all of the challenges facing the environment.
Whether it’s recycling, cutting your electricity usage for one day, or contributing to a larger environmental cause – there are countless ways to ‘celebrate’ Earth Day. Ultimately though, it comes down to each individual to decide how they want to participate and make a difference. With over 1 billion people participating in Earth Day campaigns around the world, every little bit adds up to a huge impact!
Did you know?
- In American schools, Earth Day is the most celebrated holiday after Halloween and Christmas.
- The first Earth Day was also the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, leading some at the time to believe the whole thing was a communist conspiracy
- Earth Day has its own flag and even an anthem!
- A special Canadian Earth Day was organized on September 11, 1980
- Sen. Nelson called the day ‘the National Environment Teach-In’, but somehow ‘Earth Day’ became more popular
Now is the perfect time to get involved with Earth Day. You might still have time to join us in our Continental Green initiative if you hurry! Just come by your nearest branch to help out with the cleanup efforts in our community. If you are participating, or have already participated in Continental Green, thank you very much for helping us to make the earth a little better! Have a great Earth Day everyone!
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