With Earth Day just around the corner, take a minute to find out about the origin of this important movement and what you can do in your community.
In 1969, Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson proposed the national observance of an environmental day that would bring to the attention of Washington the public’s growing concern for environmental problems. It was Sen. Nelson’s tour of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the anti-war energy on college campuses that helped him conceptualize the original grassroots movement. Sen. Nelson’s intention for Earth Day was that its mission be carried out locally by individual communities instead of by the federal government. An estimated 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Earth Day has reached an international audience with an estimated 184 countries holding formal Earth Day celebrations in 2000. Click here for more information about the origination of Earth Day.
Source: EPA, "Earth Day and EPA History," http://www.epa.gov/earthday/history.htm
Take some time to find an Earth Day event in your community. Many schools, universities, churches, retailers and businesses organize events to encourage environmental sustainability. If nothing is going on in your area, then start something! Check out this resource for a list of North Carolina Earth Day 2011 events.