What Are Your Plans for Earth Day?
By Lisa Sim
Epoch Times Staff Apr 10, 2009
‘Real Housewives of New York City’ cast members (L-R) Alex McCord, LuAnn de Lesseps, Bethenny Frankel, Bette Midler, Ramona Singer and Lauren Zalaznick help plant trees in Harlem for Earth Day on April 22, 2008 in New York City. (Donna Ward/Getty Images)
Earth Day is April 22. Celebrated for almost forty years now, this occasion brings the world together for a moment to focus on our planet–our home. It is kind of like a symbolic birthday. Many activities are planned, events and rallies are held, and speeches are given. Millions shift their attention to the planet and the environment, even if it is only for this one day. Have you thought about how you can partake in the celebration?
A peace activist named John McConnell was the original founder of Earth Day. Prior to 1970, it was celebrated on the Spring Equinox, March 21 or 22. In 1970, April 22 became the new official Earth Day proposed by a Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson.
At the time Earth Day was founded, although the goal was to promote environmental awareness, ecological issues, and protecting the planet, our country and the world was in the middle of many turning points in history such as the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the counterculture of the 1960’s.
At that time, people wanted change, as they still do. However, from the environmental standpoint, the focus on what the problems were and what needed to change have evolved over the past 30 years. Back then it was believed that overpopulation and “global cooling” were two of the main issues that needed to be dealt with.
Today, not too much is addressed in regards to human overpopulation. Not to say this is no longer a concern, but rather people who speak out in regards to this issue tend to be ignored or silenced.
It’s obvious that the worldwide impact of human civilization is having a negative influence on global homeostasis. First, it seemed “global cooling” frightened people into thinking that if we don’t change our ways, another Ice Age will befall us. For the past decade or more the prevalent fear seems to be “global warming”– that the rise in the average global temperature will lead to the melting of our polar ice caps which will then lead to mass-migration, flooding, famine, and war.
It seems, most recently, we are getting away from such terminology as global warming or cooling and simply are referring to the potential impact we may have on the environment as “climate change,” which may involve unnatural warming, cooling, unusual weather and/or precipitation patterns that could be caused by pollution, the emission of greenhouse gases, deforestation and desertification, etc.
Historically, Earth Day has involved a vast array of activities to promote environmental activism, awareness, and support. In 1970, 20 million participated in the first Earth Day activities. Today this number has grown to over 500 million in over 175 countries.
People who work in environmental science, organic farming, sustainable lifestyle, or some branches of government believe that every day should be an Earth Day. But whether or not you consciously adopt a green lifestyle or just contribute to the cause by recycling paper, Earth Day is another opportunity to get involved and help make a difference.
If you haven’t made any plans for April 22 of this year, here are some ideas:
-Assess the energy efficiency of your home and formulate an action plan.
-Plant a tree.
-Make a pledge to go green.
-Make a donation to an eco-foundation.
-Contact your local schools and/or local government and get involved in the community.
-Organize a “clean-up” in your area near a park, river, or lakeshore.
-Start a “Victory Garden” in your neighborhood or yard.
-Organize a community or neighborhood recycling program.
-Start composting to reduce your organic waste.
-Install a rain barrel or make a rain garden to capture runoff.
-Adopt an endangered animal.
-Visit or make a donation to your nearest wildlife or nature preserve.
-Energetically fast for a day, with no electricity, natural gas, or running water.
The following are some helpful websites: