Today, April 22, 2015 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day was initiated by a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, after he witnessed the massive and devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. He was interested in raising awareness about air and water pollution to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was born and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Since that time, Earth Day has become the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in the Earth Day campaign every year.
What can we do to commemorate Earth Day? There are many possibilities. Volunteer. Go to a festival. Install solar panels on your roof. Organize an event in your community. Change a habit. Help launch a community garden. Communicate your priorities to your elected representatives. Do something nice for the Earth, have fun, meet new people, and make a difference. In reality, Earth Day is every day. To build a better future, we all must commit to protect our environment year-round.
“The earth is what we all have in common.”
by Wendell Berry