Back to School at FamilyEducation.com

Earth Day
by Beth Rowen

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, a result of the efforts of Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), a passionate advocate of protecting the environment and increasing awareness of environmental issues. While social activism was at peak levels in the late 1960s and early '70s, legislation on environmental issues was nearly nonexistent. Nelson struggled since he was elected to the Senate in 1962 to persuade Congress to establish an environmental agenda. Frustrated by the obstacles and resistance he faced, he appealed to the mood of the public and designated April 22 as a "national day for the environment." He hoped to impress upon fellow politicians that humans have an enormous impact on the environment. Nelson certainly achieved his goal. More than 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day celebration, prompting voter-hungry politicians to take notice. The overwhelming response helped generate a new political focus on the environment. As that focus has become increasingly global, more people than ever are celebrating Earth Day around the world.

In the past several years as countries all over the world have been mired in recession and affected by turmoil in the Middle East, Earth Day has taken on increased significance. Indeed, skyrocketing food, gas, and oil prices have impacted people rich and poor, businesses large and small. That's the bad news. The good news is that the spike in energy and food prices has increased awareness about the dangers of global warming and inspired people and corporations to conserve resources and "go green."

Many companies are doing their part by encouraging employees to use less paper and take public transportation to and from work, allowing some employees to telecommute, and using green materials and alternative heating systems when they rebuild or renovate. On the consumer side, sales of hybrid cars are up, while gas-guzzling SUVs are crowding used-car lots. A law passed in 2007 mandates use of the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), and clotheslines are becoming as popular in backyards as swing sets. These measures not only save energy and the Earth, they also save money.



Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
According to the 2010 Census, Asians make up 4.8% of the U.S. population.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!