By: Olivia Latimer
History: The first earth day took place on April 22, 1970. The idea began during the late 1960s when scientists and conservationists noted that our current way of life was not only affecting the planet but also public health. In 1962, Rachel Carlson published the book Silent Spring to raise awareness of the effects of pollution. The book instantly became a New York Times best seller having over 500,000 copies sold in 24 countries. But, the actual idea for earth day wasn’t brought to the public’s attention until 1969 after there was a huge oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Proposed in Congress by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was to be used as a way to acknowledge the state of our planet and work to keep it healthy. Nelson chose the first Earth Day to be on April 22, so that it could be celebrated with students through school on a day that is conducive for outdoor activities.
The first official Earth Day was so successful that more than 20 million people nationwide came together to celebrate the cause. But, the next two Earth Days took place once a decade, before becoming an annual observance in 1990. But, that doesn’t stop people from celebrating the holiday by planting trees, picking up trash, encouraging recycling and more.
If you’re interested in taking action here are some ways you can help!
- `Go to https://www.earthday.org/take-action-now/. Here you can find a bunch of different ways to help the planet through volunteering or through donation.
- Earth Day of Service – go to www.eventbrite.com and register for a day of community service at Governors Island here on April 23, 2022.
- Want to reduce food waste? You can use old food scraps to create compost to use as fertilizer for your garden!
- Cut down on plastic by using reusable bags for shopping, no plastic containers, on the go utensil kit in place of plastic utensils, recycling and more!