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Earth Day – April 22, 2013

What do people do

The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.  Television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.

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Public Life

Earth Day is not a public holiday and public life, with regard to transport schedules and opening hours for schools and businesses, is not affected.

Background

The April 22 Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Some people prefer to observe Earth Day around the time of the March equinox. In 1978, American anthropologist Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, founded by John McConnell. She stated that the selection of the March Equinox for Earth Day made planetary observance of a shared event possible.

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Symbols

Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include: an image or drawing of planet earth; a tree, a flower or leaves depicting growth; or the recycling symbol. Colors used for Earth Day include natural colors such as green, brown or blue.

The “Earth Flag”, which was designed by John McConnell, has been described as a “flag for all people”. It features a two-sided dye printed image of the Earth from space on a dark blue field, made from recyclable, weather-resistant polyester. Margaret Mead believed that a flag that showed the earth as seen from space was appropriate.

 

 

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Plan an Earth Day event in your town!

A month of Earth Day inspired posts…visit http://act.earthday.org to make your pledge!

From beach cleanups to recycling initiatives to meetings with local officials or school administrators about improving environmental policies, potential Earth Day events are limited only by your imagination.

Do neighborhoods in your area lack access to fresh vegetables and fruits?  Start a community garden on Earth Day.  Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, work with local growers and government to start a farmer’s market and launch it on Earth Day.

Does your office lack a recycling program or still use incandescent light bulbs?  Make Earth Day the occasion to launch a recycling program and install CFL lights.

Call your local Parks Department and offer to plan a park clean-up, invasive plant removal or tree planting.

Around the world, individuals and organizations craft Earth Day events every year that correspond to the environmental needs of their communities. In New Delhi last year, India, people organized a Save Water rally and cycling rallies, among many other events in 17 cities.  In 2010, Morocco held the first national celebration of Earth Day in an Islamic state that included school festivals, tree plantings, park openings, student art exhibits and competitions, meetings of architects and a huge concert with Seal and Senegalese music legend Doudou N’Diaye Rose.

If you are at a loss for how to even begin organizing an event, don’t worry.  We have been putting together grassroots environmental events for over 40 years, so we published our collective wisdom about how to organize a successful event in our Basic Organizer’s Guide and Campus Organizer’s Guide.

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