Do you know what big event is right around the corner?
Do you know what big event is right around the corner? I will give you a hint – it is on April 22. It is my youngest daughter's birthday!
Okay, so maybe you would not have known, or even cared about that, but it is also Earth Day. 2013 marks the 43rd Earth Day celebration since this special day was first named in 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin). He stated that we needed a day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment and so declared April 22 as Earth Day.
Remember, back in the 1960s and '70s; those were the days of peace, love, flower power, and earth children. I think they may have been on to something there because here we are nearly 50 years later still celebrating Earth Day.
Since then cities, states, and countries around the world celebrate Earth Day. This year competitions throughout the world have increased for students, communities, and individuals to get involved. According to Earth Day Network, last year the "Earth Day Network's 'MobilizeU Campaign' – now one of the world's largest environmental competitions for college students – galvanized students from 300 colleges and universities in 51 countries and 36 U.S. states to take part in a month of environmental action. The campaign's message and call to action reached over six million students across six continents during the month-long competition that ended on April 29."
Here are a few other notable contributions made by others as reported on the Earth Day Network:
1,570,839 acts of green contributed by Students in Oman. For Earth Day 2011 and 2012, every school in the country hosted an environmental festival where students learned about conservation and sustainability204,722 trees planted in Cyprus. The Department of Forests in Cyrpus coordinated with Earth Day Network to plant over 200,000 trees.Over 200 Earth Day activities held in U.S. embassies and consulates.3,187,521 pounds of recyclable material collected from California beaches.Corporations:789,041 generators and skyhydrants distributed to earthquake victims in Haiti1,006,639 trees planted in 16 countries for the Avatar Home Tree InitiativeOrganizations:5,000,000 energy efficient stoves installed in Africa.3,836,343 pounds of recyclable material collected in schools across America.Individuals:89,000 individual acts of green from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, India12,000 pounds of trash collected in Minnesota.These are only a few of the notable mentions, but they are all quite amazing achievements.
In a perfect world, everyone is doing what they can to care for and keep the Earth clean and alive for the next generation. There are countless measures you as one person can do. Earth Day is one day a year to remind us to do our part.
When my daughter was young she was thrilled to tell me that she was my Earth Day baby. April 22 will always be a special day in our family, for more reasons than one.
Lynn Youngblood is a Kansas City-based naturalist who writes for Gatehouse Media.