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Last Updated: Apr 21st, 2011 - 15:49:33 
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Earth Day - The First Day of Spring
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Apr 22, 2011, 04:30 PST

The Importance of Earth Day

Earth Day is a celebration of the Earth by average people. It reminds us that we must take care of the Earth if we plan to continue to live on it. It also reminds us that each one of us can make a difference. One person can clean up a pile of trash, a few can clean up a park or a pond, a lot of us can clean up a wetlands, and all of us can clean up the world so that future generations will be able to enjoy this beautiful planet. It all starts with one person saying.. I can pick up this bit of trash and leave this area better than when I found it. Join people around the world in making the Earth better than it is today.

Who Created Earth Day?

Earth Day is a global holiday celebrating the wonder of life on our planet. It appears that there is some controversy over the individuals who claim to be the founder of Earth day. One is John McConnell, while another is Senator Gaylord Nelson.

According to some sources, John McConnell wrote the first Earth Day proclamation, and submitted it to Peter Tamaris, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, on October 3, 1969. Following is the text of the proclamation:


As Earthians we need a day to celebrate our global unity and destiny, and

The observance of EARTH DAY will alert concern and interest for our planet -- with its precious treasure of living things, and

EARTH DAY is to remind each person of his right, and the equal right of every other person, to the use of this global home and at the same time the equal responsibility of each person to preserve and improve the Earth and the quality of life thereon,

That in the City and County of San Francisco March 21st (Vernal Equinox) be the designated EARTH DAY - a special day to remember Earth's tender seedlings of life and people; a day for planting trees and grass and flowers, for cleaning streams and wooded glens. That to further these purposes a Silent Hour For Peace (a time for quiet reflection or prayer) be observed on Earth Day at 19:00 G.M.T. (11:00 a.m. P.S.T.). That on EARTH DAY the EARTH FLAG, which portrays in its center our "Beautiful Blue Planet;"be flown to encourage mutual respect for Earth and all its people.
Visit John McConnell's International Earth Day Site

According to an article by Senator Gaylord Nelson, he was the founder of the event. He states his concern with the environment as early as 1962, and then goes on to say,
"At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate."
Read the Senator's article, How the First Earth Day Came About

The interesting thing about his statement is that he doesn't say that he announced "Earth Day." It appears that although the Senator may have set the wheels in motion, John McConnell may have coined the phrase "Earth Day." We'll probably never know for sure which one originated the movement, but what we do know is the effect their efforts had on the world.

The environment was suddenly on the political agenda. Communities started to take a look at the damage that was being done to the environment on a local scale, and began to take steps to correct it. People around the world scheduled events related to nuturing our environment and realized there actually was a lot that could be done on a local level with volunteers.

The first city to proclaim the holiday was San Francisco, CA, which celebrated the holiday on April 21, 1970. Now the day is celebrated across the US, and in many countries around the globe, with community projects designed to improve the air, water, and resources of our planet.

Learning Links for Earth Day

The Original Earth Charter
Created by John McConnell in 1979, the Earth Chart "set forth the key items humanity should address in order to achieve a viable future." The charter was printed on posters that were placed throughout the UN offices.
Also see the Earth Magna Carta

Earth Day Canada
From EcoAction Teams, community resources designed to conserve energy and reduce waste to ecoMentors that are high school volunteers that mentor elementary school students in ecological issues. This site has many resources for those interested in participating in the nurturing of the Canadian environment.
Source: Earth Day Canada

Other International Earth Day Organizations and Partners

  • Earth Day Japan
  • Earth Day Taiwan
  • EcoPeace - Friends of the Earth MIddle East
  • Conservaci√≥n Internacional

    Earth Day Materials

    Earth Day in A Box
    "All the information you need to organize your own event, get involved, and help combat climate change." You'll find the following resources here: Organizers Guide, Event Registration Form, Climate Change Fact Sheets, Sample Newpaper Articles, Sample Opinion Editorials, and other items to help you organize your event.
    Source Earthday network

    Download the Earth Day Coloring and Activity Book
    Source: EPA

    Ecological Footprint Quiz
    Take this quiz and find out how much of an impact you have on the Earth. The answer may shock you. Can the Earth survive our impact on the planet?
    Please note: You do NOT have to enter your zip code or your email to take this quiz.
    Source Earthday network

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