Earth Day is a day dedicated to the environmental health of our planet.
Humans like ourselves may have lived on Earth for more than 300,000 years and for a long time people thought the Earth was so huge that it could easily absorb human wastes and pollution. And they thought that Earth's natural resources would never be used up. Now, with the world’s population is ever growing, it has been found that human activities have put a big strain on the environment.
We share our planet Earth with trees, flowers, insects, fish, whales, dogs, and many other plants and animals. Each type of animal or plant has its place on Earth, and each one is dependent on many others. Plants give off oxygen that animals need to breathe. Animals pollinate plants and spread their seeds. Animals eat plants and are in turn eaten by larger animals. When plants and animals die, they become part of the soil in which new plants, in their turn, take root and grow.
People are becoming more aware that human activities can seriously damage the planet and the animals and plants on it. Sometimes this damage can be reversed or slowed down. But it is often permanent.
In 1963, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin began to worry about our planet because it was getting dirty and many of our plants and animals were dying. He wanted to tell people about these concerns and find ways to solve these problems. On the first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970, as many as 20 million Americans in schools and communities across the country came together to make promises to help the environment, to a share a voice.
By 1990, Earth Day had become an international event, with more than 200 million people in 174 countries participating. Different environmental groups use Earth Day as time to increase awareness to all the different environmental problems and to talk about simple solutions. At fairs, festivals, and talks, people learn about air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution; the destruction of habitats; the devastation of hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species; and the depletion of nonrenewable resources. They look at topics such as conserving energy, recycling, renewing natural habitats, leading healthier lives, making their backyards friendly to wildlife, and protecting endangered species. Volunteers gather to pick up litter; clean up streams, reservoirs, and other water supplies; restore parks; plant trees; and participate in other environmental activities
There are some quick and simple things that children and parents can do together to help clean up and protect our planet:
The list below is from http://www.peacekidz.com/dinopals/earthday.htm. We invite you to visit their site for more interesting information.
Plant a tree or grow a garden. Plants turn carbon dioxide into the oxygen we need to breathe. Trees also help keep the soil from eroding away, and they give animals like birds and squirrels a place to live. You can grow plants inside, too. Try growing some salad greens or herbs, that you can eat, on your windowsill.
When you don't have far to go, try riding your bike or walking instead of getting a ride in a car. You'll help save energy, lessen the amount of air pollution, and you'll keep healthy and fit, too!
Turn off the lights when you leave the room, and turn off the radio and TV when you're not using them.
Did you know that you can save an average of 9 gallons of water if you turn the faucet off while you're brushing your teeth!
Help keep the Earth beautiful by helping to keep your neighborhood clean. Why not help organize a Litter Clean-Up Day at your school or in your neighborhood...
Recycle cans, bottles and newspapers. This reduces the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills. Most communities recycle. Does yours?
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, nor does it cover all the different environmental problems. But it a wonderful place to begin…. You will notice that Earth Day awareness is highlighted in newspapers, magazines, community postings, schools and radio/television. Local libraries and bookstores carry numerous resources on helping our planet and the various concerns. Together, let’s make Earth Day not only one day a year, but EVERYDAY of the year, in any small way we can!