The beginning of Earth Day

The first official Earth Day began in April of 1970 is credited to Senator Gaylord Nelson who recognized the harmful effects certain activities were placing on the environment. An estimated 20 million people attended inaugural events across the nation held at Elementary Schools, Hospitals, Universities, and communities calling upon the country to fight for environmental causes and oppose environmental damage with high energy and passion. Today, 53 years later, Earth Day is celebrated by more than 1 billion people in 193 countries. Because Senator Nelson pushed for environmental awareness across the nation, by December of 1970 congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency, The Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA.

Celebrating Earth Day in your personal life

There are several ways to celebrate Earth Day in your life and at home! 

Go outside and enjoy the day! Whether it’s taking a walk, riding a bike, or sitting outside on the porch, take some time to soak in the sun and admire nature. Enjoy a plastic free day! Hopefully you already limit your plastic usage throughout your day but lean towards plastic alternatives in all categories! Thirsty? Instead of grabbing a plastic water bottle, use your refillable container. Hungry and thinking of takeout? Make something at home avoiding all plastic food ware. Going shopping? Bring your own reusable bags and ditch the plastic bags the stores offer. Save your coffee grounds for compost! Americans drink 146 billion cups of coffee each year, which leaves a lot of leftover grounds.  Coffee grounds are great for compost because they are rich in nitrogen, can repel bugs in a garden, and are typically close to PH neutral which is great for plants! Do some spring cleaning! Today is a great day to go through the things in your home and see what can be resold, donated, or recycled. You may have an old desk with receipts, paperwork, and unneeded documents that could be recycled, or maybe your kids have grown out of their clothes, and some could be donated to the local thrift store. This is going to help your home feel decluttered, and will give your unused items a second chance, and decrease your carbon footprint. Become more energy efficient! Look at the light bulbs in your home or workspace. If they are LED or CFL, great! If they are incandescent, look into changing them as CFL and LED might cost more initially, they will save you money in the long run and use up to 90% less energy. 

Celebrating Earth Day at work

No matter what field you work in there are always ways to enhance your environmental care and reduce your businesses carbon footprint. Here are some ways to do so!

Educate: Education is the first step to change, and it’s important as a society to be knowledgeable on topics that pertain to the earth and environment, we live in. Ask a local professional to come speak, watch educational videos, or hold an event to spark change in the workplace. Use a refillable water station! You can’t force employees to use refillable water bottles, however you can give them access to a clean water fountain that encourages them to refill their water bottles and steer clear from plastic ones. Check your paper usage! US offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper per year, and that doesn’t include sticky notes, tabs and other paper materials. Instead of mailing a letter to a company, contact them via email. Instead of a physical copy of a newsletter to all employees, send it in a memo. If you’re in a meeting and need to jot down some notes, use a laptop or even the notes app on your phone. And of course, instead of sending used or old paper to landfill, have a recycling box in the building for the employees to use. Track your waste amount in all materials and categories and contact a sustainability management company (like Eco Solutions) and see how we can send that waste to be recycled, used for land application, and reused in other products. 

Why is earth day so important?

Imagine waking up and walking outside and not being able to breathe because the air is so thick with pollution. Imagine our oceans filled with trash and unwanted items killing our wildlife. Imagine forest fires destroying homes of people and animals, changing lives. These are just a few realities we are already beginning to face in today’s world and bringing awareness to how you contribute to the Earth’s wellbeing can make a change. Some people celebrate Earth Day because it’s trendy, or because they like the idea of ‘going green’ but we should care about earth because it is our planet and our home, and it will be passed down for generations. Celebrating Earth Day is also important because it highlights the achievements made by environmental movements and inspires future generations to preserve Earth’s natural resources. 

“If every one of us will adopt the simple truth that “I can save the earth,” we will realize how much we can achieve together.” -William D Ruckelshaus

Click here to learn more about how you can contribute to Earth day.

Date April 22, 2023