Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 22 Is Earth Day

Unofficial Earth Day flag, by John McConnell - the Blue Marble on a blue background.

Earth Day is celebrated April 22 each year. It is the spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. The event is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.

The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969.

A second Earth Day, which was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22.

It easy to accept Earth Day in 2009. Being "green" is much more popular than it was in 1970. In fact, it may be too popular. Being green is also a popular marketing term these days.

That's not all bad. When Amazon offers Earth Day Savings on organic groceries and home products, it is to make a profit. But if the products are good and buyers are becoming educated, I'm for it.

There are all kinds of slogans - Extreme Green, Ease Into Green, being Eco-Chic.

You have Energy Star educating people about efficient appliances, and they are hosting the Earth Day Sweepstakes. Go ahead and enter - 5 first-place winners will receive two ENERGY STAR-qualified powerhouses: a Toshiba laptop and a Brother multifunction printer, 15 second-place winners will receive the Brother printer. No purchase necessary. Enter here by April 22, 2009.

The first Earth Day in 1970 had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States.

Many important laws were passed by the Congress in the wake of the 1970 Earth Day, including the Clean Air Act, wild lands and the ocean, and the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Earth Day is now observed in 175 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, according to whom Earth Day is now "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a half billion people every year."

It's not a bad thing to buy kids some recycled and repurposed wood and plastic eco-friendly toys from Spring Toys, Green Toys, Plan Toys. It's important to teach children early what it means to protect the Earth. Kids who grow up knowing these things are the best chance the planet has of surviving.

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