By Tina Spencer
Author Rachel Carlson’s writings in the early 60’s helped spark the global environmental movement which would eventually lead to the establishment of Earth Day. Ms. Carson’s book, Silent Spring, showed her passionate concern for the future of the planet and all life on earth calling imploring humans to act responsibly, carefully and as stewards of the living earth.
Earth Day began because of a unified response to an environment in crisis – oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire. On April 22, 1970 millions of Americans took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet with the goal of raising awareness about mankind’s role in protecting our natural world. Environmental protection is important to our physical health and the health of our planet.
This year will mark Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and the theme is climate change. Climate change impacts us in many ways: agriculture and food security, air pollution, drinking water supply, transportation, energy, ecosystems/biodiversity, and more—all of which impact human health.
Earth Day has become a popular day for many communities to gather together and clean up litter, plant trees, or simply reflect on the beauty of nature. For 50 years Earth Day has increased awareness of the planet we live on, our impact on the environment, and how that changed environment impacts us.
Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, Earth Day can and will be celebrated in many ways. Although people can’t gather in large groups, there are many online events being offered, in addition to activities you can do at home on your own. For ideas to inspire or motivate you, check out:
It’s also not too late to join our Ecochallenge team! We’re currently in 10th place, and are beating UNO, but would love your help. Our earth needs your help, too. Individual actions do make a difference and global change requires all of us taking action. We all need to work together to protect the environment to make it a healthier place to live.