Earth Day was created on April 22, 1970, by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, after witnessing the massive damage and impact that the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California had on our environment. He was inspired by the student anti-war movement and realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda – and it did! Which is why we celebrate Earth Day each year and have the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. For more on the creation of Earth Day click here.
Today, Earth Day is celebrated in over 190 countries and the focus is education and knowledge about how to take care for our Earth. All across the country different cities will celebrate and host different events to encourage education about the Earth. The EPA has a handy Earth Day Take Home Kit that provides web tools to help your family protect the Earth and yourselves. They also have links on their website to events, volunteer opportunities and activities that you and your family can get involved in, all around the country.
The main idea for getting involved in Earth Day activities is giving back and doing something positive for the Earth or yourself. In our city, there are a ton of activities planned for families from nature walks, an Earth Day 5K, Clothing Drives and more. In Denver, the Earth Day festival will be completely solar powered and focused on producing no waste. And on the East coast, our nation’s capitol will be celebrating Earth Day all month! The Earth Day festival is currently running, it started on the first of April and goes through April 30 at Union Station in Washington DC. The festival will feature dozens of exhibitors, a film festival, a farmers’ market, alternative energy demonstrations, a green fashion show, and a science fair with local schools.
As you will see, there are a ton of opportunities to get involved in your community and celebrate the Earth and it is a great time to teach your kids about why we need to take care of the Earth, because if we don’t it won’t be here for us and future generations. Whether you get out and help with a recycling project, clean up a local beach, or plant some flowers in your garden, share the experience with your family.
Here are some fun Earth Day coloring pages and riddles for the little ones, for when you come indoors! Earth Day is Monday April 22, 2013. Let us know, how will you and your family celebrate the Earth this year?