Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Original Earth Day – an idea Planted for the Planet

planted It’s inspiring to me to read about the history of Earth Day, primarily because the seed for Earth Day was planted by one man.

Back in 1970, this one man, Gaylord Nelson, who was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was so concerned about the environmental problems of the times, that he announced the idea of a “national teach-in on the planet” to educate the masses about many of the environmental problems the world was facing. Nelson gathered a small group to help get his idea started: Congressman Pete McCloskey as his co-chair; Denis Hayes as his national coordinator and a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

Keep in mind, this was before email and cell phones, Facebook and twitter. But the actions of this small team of 88 people opened the eyes of the entire world.

As a result, on the 22nd of April (1970), 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. "It was a gamble," Gaylord recalled, "but it worked." ( website)

It is hard to pick up a newspaper or get on the internet without seeing evidence of how this man’s “gamble” has paid off. Businesses and corporations, big and small, are pledging money to environmental groups. Celebrities are putting their names behind their favorite causes. Rallies and events are already being held throughout the country and the world.

According to Wikipedia, Earth Day is now observed on April 22 each year by more than 500 million people and several national governments in 175 countries, but if you visit the website, you’ll see that the numbers are probably much higher than that.

The point that I hope you will take away from all of this is the power that YOU have, as an individual, to make a difference. Gaylord Nelson took a gamble back in 1970 by planting the seed for Earth Day. Now, we all have the opportunity to help keep this idea growing.

As a Green Gardener, here are some suggestions for how to influence others on Earth Day.

Or you can visit the website for other ideas about what you can do.

Whatever you decide to do, I encourage you to use the power of social media to let others know about it. Facebook, twitter and other forms of social media are the perfect fertilizers to help keep your positive ideas growing.

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