On April 22, 2020, the world celebrates the 50th year of Earth Day with optimism, action and hope. From its beginning as an environment preservation day in the United States, Earth Day is now the biggest non-secular celebration dedicated to creating clean habitat worldwide.
Marking 50 years of action
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. But before the celebration was formally organized, Americans were using large amounts of leaded gas from inefficient and gas-guzzling cars. Industries used fossil fuels for their operations, releasing smoke into the air and sludge into the water system. They ignore the consequences of their disregard of what the harmful emissions can bring to them, from bad press to legal implications.
Decades ago, the amount of air pollution is the mark of a country’s prosperity. America was unmindful of the threat pollution posed on human health and the environment.
A prick on the consciousness was triggered by the book, “Silent Spring” that was published in 1962. The book’s author, Rachel Carson, tackled the inseparable links between public health and pollution and raised the concern and public awareness for the environment and living things.
The first year of Earth Day
In January 1969, a massive oil spill wreaked havoc in Santa Barbara, California. It triggered a reaction on Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson, prompting him to present to the media the idea of a teach-in on college campuses. He formed a team, composed of activist Denis Hayes and Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey, who was a conservation supporter. Hayes was tasked to organize the teach-ins, and scheduled the event on April 22.
Hayes realized that teach-ins could inspire most Americans and went on to gather 85 people across the nation to be their staff. They organize and promote events around the U.S., reaching more people, from students to organizations, community, and religious groups. The use of Earth Day as the event name increased media attention and groups across the country gave it more notice.
Earth Day was an inspiration for more than 20 million people in the U.S. and spurred them to stage demonstrations in auditoriums, parks and on the streets. They wanted more people to know the effects on human health of the industrial development that was going on for more than 150 years. College and university students were the most vocal about the deterioration of the environment in the name of the industrial revolution.
Union of concerned groups
Individual groups fighting against different environmental issues gathered on Earth Day because they have joint problems. The first Earth Day achieved something rare: support from the Democrats and Republicans, labor and business leaders, farmers and urban dwellers, as well as the rich and the poor.
Towards the end of 1970, the premier Earth Day celebration initiated the establishment of the Environment Protection Agency of the United States, and fundamental environmental laws – the Clean Air Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the National Environmental Education Act. The U.S. Congress created the Clean Water Act in 1972 and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as well as the Endangered Species Act in 1973. The laws ensure the protection of different living things from death and diseases. Moreover, the new laws prevented the extinction of various species.
Promoting Earth Day today and into the future
Earth Day should be a daily celebration. It is better the environment if people care for it every day instead of doing it one day each year. If you care for the environment, there are several things you can do to promote Earth Day not only today but each day of the year.
There are several ways to get involved with the Earth Day movement. Here are some of the things you can do:
- To get from one place to another, consider riding your bike, carpooling or walking if the distance is manageable. Doing so allows you to save on fuel and get some exercise, as well. You likewise minimize gas emissions that reduce air pollution.
- Start by volunteering to local organizations that host environment-centered activities.
- Go paperless as much as possible. You can enroll in e-bills and online invoice systems to reduce paper consumption, which can help save trees.
- Learn more about saving the environment. If you learn more ways about protecting the environment, you can share your knowledge and teach others.
- Practice recycling and encourage others to do the same. You can start in your home, your neighborhood, your workplace and in organizations where you belong.
- Save water by fixing fixtures in your home that leak.
- Pledge to plant at least one tree each year.
- Stop using plastic items and avoid buying products in plastic bottles to reduce to minimize wastes that fill up dumps and landfills.
- Plant flowering plants that can provide nourishment for butterflies. Put birdhouses, birdbath or a bird feeder in the available space in your place of residence.
- Create a hanging or vertical garden and plant vegetables that are easy to grow, even in small containers. You can grow a lemon tree in a big tub, and plant tomatoes, salad greens, onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, etc. in recycled plastic containers and plastic bottles in you do not have clay pots.
- Change your light bulbs into energy-efficient and long-lasting LED lights.
Role of language translations to Earth Day workshops
The objective of the Earth Day celebration is to raise awareness on the environmental issues that affect Planet Earth. Earth Day is not only for Americans. The event is for everyone who wants to make a difference to give the earth time to heal through changes in their behaviors that affect nature. Earth Day workshops aim to empower people with the messages, tools and information they can use to push for change.
Earth Day workshops are for every person who wants to push for a better environment. Therefore, information and messages should not only be available in English. Workshops should provide information in different languages to ensure that messages can reach every person, regardless of the language they speak. Ensure that you work with a professional language service provider for high quality and accurate translations.
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