Earth Day (and now, Earth Week) are observances that are intended to improve our awareness and appreciation of the environment we live in. Earth Day got its start when Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated it as an environmental teaching opportunity in 1970. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, and countries around the world take part.
Ever since their inception, both Earth Day and Earth Month have had a few goals. They are:
*To promote citizen involvement. Various partnerships and organizations give us all the opportunity to be active at all levels- from small events in your town to global happenings.
*To broaden the definition of “the environment”. Our environment isn’t just where we live and the air we breathe, it’s all issues that impact our health and that of our communities. Climate change, green living and water pollution are at the forefront.
*To educate children from elementary to high school. Earth Day networks have implemented a “green schools campaign” to help school districts save money while conserving water and energy, and keeping their students healthy. The Earth Day Network is working hand-in-hand with the National Civic Education Project to encourage students to find creative ways to solve environmental issues.
*To bring sanitary conditions and clean water to places around the world. The Earth Day Network’s Global Water initiative allows anyone to help pay for water projects in far-flung and undeveloped places.
*To inspire college kids to step up and become environmental activists.
Earth Day and Earth Month are trying to change the world by helping the environment- one person at a time. They’ve helped rebuild and “green” schools after hurricane Katrina, and they’ve given Ghanaian refugees clean water. There are thousands of events each year, leading Earth Day to become the world’s most-celebrated nonreligious holiday.
You don’t have to wait for Earth Day to get involved though- it only takes one person to bring about environmental change.
Earth Day 2010 Events Across The US (this is not a complete list)
The Great NEPA Cleanup: More than 40 organizations in NEPA have events planned for Earth Week. Events include neighborhood cleanups, work parties along the Lackawanna River, park beautification projects, roadside cleanups and “green” events. Visit www.lhva.org/docs/nepa-cleanup to learn how you can participate in an Earth Day event in your area, or call 570-963-6730, ext. 8200.
In NYC: 40th anniversary of Earth Day to be held in Times Square on Thursday, April 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will take place in the newly created pedestrian plazas in Times Square on Broadway between 45th and 46th streets. As part of the celebration, the public plaza between 42nd and 43rd streets will host information booths on a variety of environmental issues.
In Washington, DC: Earth Day Tour at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Family friendly activities include making woven placemats, interactive storytelling and even making a community fence in conjunction with the Running Fence exhibition. Free.
In Louisiana: Wetlands exhibits, recycling information, a fashion show featuring recycled materials and more will be on display during Sunday’s Louisiana Earth Day from noon to 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 18th, 2010. (more info)
In County of Morris NJ: Learn how to help the environment as you enjoy live animal shows, paddleboat rides, games and crafts, dozens of educational booths, guided nature walks, “green” vendors, food, live music, and much more! Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (more info)
In CA: The Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center will celebrate Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 2801 Madera Road. The event will feature landfill tours, falconer demonstrations, crafts, music, a bounce house, refreshments and the unveiling of a nature trail in the center’s pollinator garden. Reservations are required for a lawn-mower trade-in event; swap a working gas-powered mower for a $200 voucher to purchase a cordless electric mower (more info).
Camarillo Community Gardens Earth Day is slated from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Camarillo Community Center, 1605 Burnley St. Ventura County Master Gardeners will offer displays of or demonstrations about native plants, sustainable landscape design, creating wildlife habitat, water conservation and more. Other activities include solar cooking demonstrations, biodiesel and permaculture exhibits, live music by string band Watermelon Pie, bounce houses, and hula-hoop dancing led by Daisy Girl Scouts. (more info)
Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St. The event will feature information, demonstrations, workshops and products from hundreds of vendors and environmental organizations, an amateur Green Shorts Film Festival (really short, as in two minutes), a Green Car Show and a Green Home Pavilion. “Avatar” director James Cameron is scheduled to make an appearance to receive the Community Environmental Council’s Environmental Hero Award at 2 p.m. Sunday. (more info)
Ventura’s Earth Day Eco Fest, April 17, 2010 from 10am to 5pm at Promenade Park, Ventura. This family friendly event is sponsored by Ventura Charter School of Arts and Global Education and The City of Ventura.
The Oakland Zoo will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the theme “Wildlife in Your World.” The zoo is at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. Regular zoo admission $7.50 for children and seniors and $11 for adults, and parking costs $6. Bring a used ink cartridge or cell phone to recycle and receive a free train ride. (more info)
In FL: Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is having its 21st annual Earth Day event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunda, in Palm Coast, FL. The event activities will include arts and crafts vendors, living history demonstrations, environmental and cultural booths, live entertainment, nature programs, live animals, games of chance and a large children’s environmental activity center. (more info)
“Party for the Planet!” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, as the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens celebrates Earth Day at its campus at 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, Florida. Environmental and animal conservation experts will be on hand to teach visitors about how to preserve our earth and its wildlife. Live entertainment, animal encounters and visits from Jazoo, the zoo’s lion mascot, as well as a children’s activity area with eco-friendly crafts and a giant inflatable slide are also included in the weekend’s activities. (more info)