April 22, 2014 is just one more day in one more year that our Earth has survived with all of us living here. Year after year, our planet provides us with natural resources that light, fuel, and energize our lives. April 22 is Earth Day—the anniversary of the modern environmental movement’s beginning on April 22, 1970.
Earth Day began in 1970 as a way of reminding our global community why the planet is so important—amidst the Vietnam War, the launch of All My Children, the Beatles’ 12th album, the New York Knicks’ first NBA Championship, the uprise of Basque terrorism in Spain… it was important to remember why we’re all here. We live on this Earth and it deserves a day of respect.
In 1970, it was easy to get lost in the chaos. But one more important thing happened that year—President Richard Nixon established the United States Environmental Protection Agency on December 2 before the year ended. 1970 became the year that the United States began to focus on environmental issues and the world acknowledged that it is important to give our Earth a day for global respect.
Today, we have made strides toward becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly planet. The world’s first entirely solar-powered bus was introduced in Adelaide, Australia and is expected to save over 70,000 kg of carbon and 14,000 liters of diesel fuel in its first year of operation. Actor/Activist Ed Begley Jr. is building LEED Platinum Certified ‘America’s Greenest House’ in California. Songdo, South Korea is aiming to be the World’s Greenest City with 40% of city area devoted to green spaces and parks.
We can each help the planet, even without designing a brand-new solar powered mode of transportation. This year, pledge to follow at least one of our Earth Day suggestions:
- Use solar instead of electric lighting for your garden, patio, and other areas that do not need to be lit all day long.
- Determine your carbon footprint with the Nature Conservancy’s calculator.
- Eat less red meat to cut down on the amount of water and production effort that it takes to put this food on our tables. Eating just one vegetarian meal per week can decrease your carbon footprint as much as driving 1,000 less miles in your car each week.
- Engage in local sustainability events within your own communities, such as this Earth Day event held by Green Light New York: “exhibition and discussion of low carbon lighting solutions and their ability to empower the underserved and strengthen communities in crisis”.
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