Earth Day, celebrated this month on April 22, was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in an effort to raise awareness of environmental concerns regarding air, water, and land pollution. Senator Nelson saw an opportunity to reach out to the public by bringing his message to the anti-war protests that were abundant on college campuses –in the 1970’s.
Once the message was out, groups that had been fighting against different environmental issues, spanning from oil spills and toxic dumps to loss of wilderness and extinction of wildlife, realized they shared a common goal of protecting the environment.
In its first year, Earth Day was extremely well received, and it inspired the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Throughout the 1970’s several pieces of legislature were passed including the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act in effort to protect human health, and safe guard the natural environment -air-water-land.
The grassroots movement captured the world’s attention and went global in 1990. Today, the Earth Day Network—a non-profit organization that organizes Earth Day activities—collaborates with over 17,000 partners and organizations in over 170 countries!
This year NASA is hosting a “Global Selfie” event by asking people to take photos of themselves outside on Earth Day and post them to hashtag #GlobalSelfie. NASA plans to create a mosaic of Mother Earth with the photos.
How to get involved??
Some schools and communities celebrate Earth Day for a whole week. Here in Percipia’s hometown of Chicago you can join the 25th Annual Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-up by volunteering in your neighborhood park Saturday April 26, from 9:00 am 12:00 pm, in effort to make the city more beautiful.
For more information visit: http://www.earthdaychicago.com/