Monday, April 5, 2010

The History of Earth Day

On April 22nd people across the globe will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, felt that US citizens needed an outlet to express their frustration with the environmental destruction going on around them. That first Earth Day event in 1970 inspired a grassroots coalition of 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities to organize and demonstrate.

Who participated in the original Earth Day? This diverse coalition included middle class women, churches and religious groups, labor unions, scientists, students, and conservation groups. What brought these groups together to demand respect for nature? Senator Nelson argued that “"Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures."

Senator Nelson consistently argued that Earth Day and the demand for environmental responsibility should remain in the hands of the people. Our Earth Scouts have to remind global leaders of the importance of respect for nature and, by proxy, respect for humanity and for life. What can our Earth Scouts do to participate in Earth Day this year? Here’s a list of ideas thought up by kids:

Teaching Earth Friendliness
Fundraising for Wildlife
The Enchanted Forest
Trees in Honor of Earth
Invite Community Speakers
Spreading the Word
Each One Teach One
Pledge to Mother Earth
Outdoor Classroom
Creating Wildlife Habitats
Jump Start Recycling

What will my Charlotte Earth Scouts group be doing? We’re going to set up a table at a local Earth Day festival to share the Earth Scouts program with the community. Our group will be wearing our Earth Scouts T-Shirts and my daughter will be sharing her Earth Day project. We’ll also be participating in the Global Youth Service Day by cleaning up trash from a local creek.

Whatever you choose to do have fun! Be sure to share your experiences on our network! I relied on the following two websites for the information in this post. Please be sure to check them out for more information!

Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day website
This site is an amazing resource for our children. It has lots of resources, documents, and information about the history of Earth Day.

All About Earth Day website
This is a great site directed towards teaching children about the history of Earth Day.

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