National Earth Day is April 22nd. The day was established to celebrate our shared green spaces across the nation and to spread the message of environmental awareness through green community events and initiatives. Earth Day was championed in 1970 by then Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson. During a time when corporate business and industrial manufacturing were leaving behind clouds of smog and pollution, Nelson pioneered the green cause and called for a national day of recognition to be set aside, during which Americans were reminded of the importance of conservation and all that is involved in being a green citizen.
The first Earth Day saw the participation of 20 million Americans nationwide! Community groups organized events, rallies, and tended to local green spaces, and invited people of all ages to help in any way they could. These people shared in a simple mission, leaving their mark by reducing their mark on the planet. Throughout the country, communities host a variety of eco-friendly activities and events and to encourage the celebration of Earth Day and to facilitate opportunities for all to contribute to the care and conservation of their shared green spaces. Popular Earth Day activities include roadside cleanups, playground and local park maintenance, recyclable or bottle drives, and many other service-driven activities. Earth Day is also commonly a focus of class lessons and activities, and many instructors across different ages have curated Earth Day lessons for students to enjoy. Eco-driven lesson plans aren’t only applicable only to Earth science classes; it can be the focus of many different subjects.
Celebrating Earth Day in the home is a great idea, too. Getting the family together in going green can facilitate positive family time and empowers the family to do their part. Working as a team can show children the importance of going green and allows them to practice concepts they’ve learned in school. Have them teach older family members what it means to “go green”; you will be surprised at what they have to share. Eco-craft projects that use materials around the home: plastic jugs, cans and bottles, and paper are great to get the youngest in the family involved, too. However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, make it a priority to solidify your commitment to eco-friendly living and fostering environmental awareness.