Five Things You Should Know About Earth Day

Every year, people around the world celebrate Earth Day by participating in a beach clean-up, planting trees or enjoying a festival. But how much do you know about this important holiday? Here are five things you should know about Earth Day.

1. Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. Nelson’s idea for Earth Day grew out of a longtime concern for the environment. Earth Day became a national and eventually international platform to spread environmental awareness and urge people to take action, care for endangered species and stop polluting the earth.

2. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970.” These changes made the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts all become possible.

3. On March 21, 1971 the U.N. Secretary General U Thant made Earth Day international. Japan gave a Peace Bell to the U.N. to ring to begin the celebration. Earth Day has become increasingly popular all over the world. In 1990, 200 million people from 140 countries marched, took part in rallies, concerts, festivals, street fairs, clean-ups and tree planting. Approximately 500 million people took part in similar events last year.

• In India, 1,200 children participated in a rally urging people to take care of the earth. They participated in skits, held a bicycle rally to promote green transportation options and even presented a Children’s Clean Air Manifesto to the President’s wife.
• In Kenya, school children and adults planted 1,000 trees in the endangered Karura forest.
• Sydney, Australia organized a car-free day to celebrate. Many major city streets were blocked off to traffic and instead were flooded with people enjoying an Earth Day festival with music, theater and informational booths.

4. For Earth Day 2010, cities across the U.S. are hosting major celebrations.

• Los Angeles is throwing its biggest Earth Day celebration yet. WorldFest 2010 will take place in Woodley Park in Lake Balboa, Calif. Join tons of people for great music, inspirations speakers, non-profits, kids activities and delicious food.
• Rochester, Michigan expects over 100,000 people to take part in their biggest MI Earth Day Fest to learn about green and healthy living alternatives with food, energy, transportation, clothes, job, home, garden and finance.
• Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has suggested 10 Earth Day festivities from April 18th- 25th. Whether it’s cleaning up parks to the Potomac, or attending the Loudon Family Festival – caring for the earth can be enjoyable for all ages.
• Kids in New York are in luck. Manhattan has set up 30 different activities for kids to take part in for Earth Day 2010. New York City is the greenest city in America – teaching kids to protect the Earth ensures they hold on to that title for the future. From eco-friendly art projects to cleaning up a park in Harlem, there’s activities for every child to do, play, look, learn and listen.

5. One of Earth Day’s main concerns is to promote how essential recycling is.
• By recycling one soda can – enough energy is saved to watch T.V. for three hours or produce a half gallon of gasoline.
• Only 27 percent of American newspapers are recycled. If everyone recycled their papers, 250,000,000 trees would be saved each year.
• Everyday 20,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped in foil – which equals about 133 square miles of tin foil. This incredible amount of foil is recyclable, but most people are unaware of this.
• The garbage in land fills can stay for over 30 years.
• Plastic bags and bottles are especially damaging to the environment, taking thousands of years to decompose. Plastic waste, polluting the oceans, has collected in the Pacific Garbage Patch and other floating gyres around the world, by ERIN SWAN,/www.causecast.org

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