Let's Celebrate Earth Day PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 12:40

Turning 40 years old is a milestone for us as human beings, but it's also an achievement for an annual event celebrating our beautiful planet Earth.  This Earth Day, April 22nd, marks its 40th anniversary, serving as a reminder of the importance of keeping our planet clean and protected so it can thrive and prosper for years to come. 

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 and is one of the most important dates in the history of democracy because it signifies the birth of the modern environmental movement.  It increases awareness about environmental issues nationally and locally.  In addition, it allows individuals, organizations, corporations and government entities the opportunity to face common concerns about ecological crises and create initiatives for a greener way of life.

Earth Day was founded by a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, who proposed the first nationwide environmental protest to let Washington know that public citizens shared a growing concern about the state of the environment.  This happened at a time when American industries and people were excessively polluting the air and ground with toxins and waste and environmentalists banded together in the hopes of promoting a healthier, cleaner planet.

Senator Nelson, who was always environmentally conscious, was inspired by the campus activism of the late 1960s when students formed teach-ins to raise awareness about a variety of issues.  He elected a group of students to help him with the task of initiating what he hoped would become a nationwide environmental teach-in.  He decided that the first Earth Day's activities should be "grassroots based," created by individuals and groups in their own communities. 

In order to raise the funds to get Earth Day started, the U.S. Senator wrote letters to governors and mayors of major cities and asked them to draw up Earth Day Proclamations. Senator Nelson also sent Earth Day articles to all college newspapers explaining the event and to Scholastic Magazine, which is distributed to many schools in all grade levels.

His efforts paid off and on April 22, 1970, millions of Americans from all political parties, economic status and races demonstrated the need for a healthy, sustainable environment and spoke to people on the streets and in parks, auditoriums and schools.  

It wasn't long before Earth Day began to get national attention from the media and political groups in Washington.  People in large cities and small communities throughout the country took notice and schools began holding Earth Day activities and implementing environmental teachings in their classrooms.  In addition, civic groups, governments, businesses, churches and other organizations acknowledged the importance of the event.

Senator Nelson hired Denis Hayes as the national coordinator and he and his employees organized impressive rallies throughout the country and thousands of colleges and universities developed protests against the environmental decline and spoke about issues like oil spills, toxic dumps, freeways and the loss of wilderness and raw sewage.

The first Earth Day led to Congress authorizing the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which was a new federal agency dealing with environmental issues, and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts.  Senator Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role as Earth Day founder. 

It wasn't long before Earth Day's popularity went global.  During the late 1980s and early 90s, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to spearhead another large campaign, which brought worldwide attention to environmental issues.  Earth Day in 1990 was a remarkable year because of massive recycling efforts and it also helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

As much of an achievement Earth Day's 40th anniversary is, our work is not done because the planet continues to face ongoing challenges, mostly with climate changes.  Core issues this Earth Day 2010 include advocacy, water, climate change, green economy, green schools, conservation and biodiversity, food and agriculture, energy, recycling and waste reduction and sustainable development.

Let's all work together to make Earth Day 2010 a turning point in saving the environment and keeping our planet beautiful.  See how you can participate in Earth Day campaigns within your own community and as a united front from coast to coast, we can make a difference.

This Earth Day also marks the launch and first year of LiveBetterLiveGreen.com ® and the official launch of Project Farmhouse™.  Both are brand new initiatives and the brainchild of Lisa Alexander, LEED AP and nationally recognized Green Living, Building and Sustainablility Expert. 

Project Farmhouse™ is a green renovation project in Pike County, Pennsylvania that is getting national media attention for the efforts involved in renovating a 100-year old farmhouse to acquire LEED, NAHB Green and Energy Star Certifications.   The beautiful farmhouse sits on 53 acres of woods, wetlands, ponds and pastures.  The renovation work will include recycling and reusing part of the current structure, using geothermal heating systems and solar panels and buying used, local, and other sustainable products, among other things.  

Project Farmhouse™ will also be a local learning center where children and adults can learn how to create a healthy, sustainable home and lifestyle with topics ranging from energy efficiency to organic gardening and sustainable land management.

Up-to-date sneak peaks of the renovations by way of internet how-to-videos can be viewed on www.LiveBetterLiveGreen.com ®.   The videos will take you through the entire renovation process and talk about real costs and issues associated with creating an energy efficient and sustainable "green" home.  Lisa Alexander created the website to help people find ecologically sound information on how to save money, conserve energy and protect their health and our planet.  The site provides easy to understand articles that helps readers take steps in making their home, business and lifestyle healthier and more sustainable.  

Stay tuned for more exciting and informative articles, news programs and web videos on Project Farmhouse ™ and visit www.LiveBetterLiveGreen.com ® frequently to get up-to-date details on how to green your world.