Earth Day is coming up this April 22nd and we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of this important event from a world under quarantine. The circumstances that brought the coronavirus to the level of worldwide pandemic have direct roots in humanity's treatment of nature and the way we damage our ecosystems. The world is facing down a climate crisis and Earth Day is a chance to celebrate the wonders of our natural world.
The history of the event is a fascinating one. From the EarthDay.org website.
In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.
Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson came up with the idea for a national day to focus on the environment after Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, witnessed the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Senator Nelson realized that if he could infuse the energy of anti-war protests with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
So what can all of us sheltering in place do to help celebrate Earth Day? Well, educating yourself on climate issues is important. Changing your habits so you consume less single use plastics and eat less meat. Explore local ways you can get involved and engage in political support for people who are committed to fighting climate change. Here are some of our favorites.