I am sad and slightly embarrassed to admit that my conservation efforts peaked in 7th Grade when I attempted to form a local chapter of Greenpeace with my best friend. At the ripe old age of 12, we decided it was our mission to save the planet from evil doers who refused to recycle, re-use and reduce. We would meet at least once a week after school to conduct our “Kids for Environmental Consciousness” surveys which basically consisted of opening the yellow pages, dialing random phone numbers and barraging unsuspecting strangers with a series of questions about their personal commitment to environmental conservation. I fondly remember the sense of purpose those afternoons imbued in me and the unwavering belief that my efforts would surely inspire each person who participated in my survey to save the planet one recyclable aluminum can at a time.
Twenty years later, my friend was the chief editor of Green Piece Indy, an amazing blog about local sustainability efforts, and I was struggling to find time to recycle my own bottles and cans while working full time and adjusting to life in a new city. When I reconnected with her, I reflected on how far my life had come from the idealistic youth who believed her conservation surveys would inevitably change the world. Since that meeting, I have made a personal commitment to introduce some of that youthful idealism into my adult life and renew my commitment to sustainable practices. That being said, with Earth Day just a week away, I realized that I have only a vague understanding of the significance of this day, its origination and its global impact. Fueled by my reignited passion to positively affect our environment, I discovered the following interesting and educational facts about Earth Day:
• Earth Day was first proclaimed by the city of San Francisco on March 21, 1970 and with the support of United States Senator Gaylord Nelson became a nationally celebrated event on April 22, 1970
• The overwhelming national support of the first Earth Day celebration lead to groundbreaking environmental legislation including the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the Clean Air Act and federal land preservation efforts
• In 2009, The United Nations designated April 22nd as National Mother Earth Day
• The Earth Day Network coordinates the global celebration of Earth Day and works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden and diversify the global environmental movement
• More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities making it the largest civic observance in the world
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog on easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint.