Why We Should Celebrate Earth Day

Environmental Training Resource
April 4, 2013 — 906 views  
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Earth Day is a day that is celebrated to foster an appreciation for the environment, build awareness about various environmental issues that threaten the earth, and inspire the people so that they make an effort to combat these issues. There are two known dates on which it is observed. Some people prefer celebrating Earth Day on the 1st day of spring, which is the spring equinox and occurs around March 20th. Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator, proposed a bill in 1970 that designated April 22 as the day to celebrate for our Earth and its environment. Since then, the official celebrations of Earth Day have been in April.

Environment and Chemistry

Earth Day shares a close relationship with chemistry as most of the issues that are threatening our environment have some chemical basis. Therefore, it is always vital for environmental professionals to be aware of chemistry topics, such as Green Chemistry, Water Chemistry, methods of water purification, biofuel manufacturing, and anthropogenic carbon sources.

History of Earth Day

The first celebration of Earth Day took place on March 21st in 1970, which was the spring equinox of that year. The idea was created by John McConnell, a community activist and a newspaper publisher. He proposed the creation of an international holiday known as Earth Day at UNESCO's environment conference in 1969. His idea was to have an annual occasion for people around the world to celebrate, and be reminded of the responsibility that they share as stewards of the environment.

He chose to celebrate it on the spring or vernal equinox, the 1st day in spring, as it is considered a time of rejuvenation and renewal. Since day and night are of equal length in the spring equinox, McConnell proposed that this time of global equilibrium should be a time when everyone can put aside their difference in opinions, and acknowledge a common need for preservation of the Earth's resources. On 26th February 1971, U Thant, the UN Secretary General at that time, signed a document proclaiming that the UN will be celebrating Earth Day on the spring equinox annually, which established the official date for a global Earth Day.

Earth Day in the United States

Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was also an environmental activist, organized the Environmental Teach-In which held a day of nationwide environmental activism and education on 22nd April 1970, and called it Earth Day. It was his attempt to display to his colleagues, the widespread support from the public for an agenda that was centered on environmental issues. Nelson organized the event working from his office and assigned 2 of his staff members to it. It expanded to an office space donated by Common Cause's founder, John Gardner, and Nelson appointed Denis Hayes, a Harvard student, and a group of volunteer students to organize the event that eventually became a success and sparked similar celebrations in other colleges, schools, and communities.

Earth Day Across the World

The crisis our planet is facing now is due to overpopulation, global warming, and other important environmental issues. We all have to share responsibility, and remember to do what we can, to help and celebrate Earth Day using the motto 'Think globally, Act locally'.

Environmental Training Resource