John McConnell was a peace activist who first proposed Earth Day in 1969 to celebrate Earth’s life and beauty. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) is credited for making Earth Day official because he proposed a bill asking Congress for a nationwide celebration to be held annually.
The day April 22 was chose to be Earth Day because it is the first official day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and of Fall in the Southern hemisphere.
The first official Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 when as many as 20 million Americans participated in nationwide environmental rallies, demonstrations and other activities. Since then, Earth Day has transformed from a grassroots movement into a worldwide citizen crusade. In 1990, Earth Day went global when 200 million people in 141 countries participated in activities and events.
From 1990 to 2000, recycling and global warming became major messages on Earth Day. Today, more than 5,000 environmental groups across the world participate in Earth Day to help spread the message of conservation
Below are some facts of why we need to recycle,
- 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean every year.
- Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day.
- In 1995 over 200 of the world landfills were full.
- Approximately only 10 percent of every landfill can be cleaned up.
Here are only a few examples of how long it takes some things take to break down.
- plastics take 500 years,
- aluminum cans take 500 years,
- organic materials take 6 months,
- cotton, rags, paper take 6 months.
Try using some examples below in your every day life to help to reduce the amount of waste going into our land fills. Also, consider the use of sustainable products that get the job done, but are much more eco-friendly.
1. Say goodbye to plastic bags. Single-use plastic bags represent a threat to the environment. Not only do they take up a huge space in landfills, but they also interfere with the ecosystem. Take along a reusable canvas bag when shopping. It’s a quick and easy way to “go green.” It’s also a great example to show your kids that you care about their future and the future of our planet.
2. Recycle unwanted items. Have your kids outgrown their clothes? Do they no longer play with certain toys? Rather than throwing them out to take up space in a landfill, consider donating them to charity. Not only will you get a tax deduction for making a charitable donation, but you’ll also help out a deserving organization.
3. Set up recycling receptacles. In your kitchen and anywhere else in your house where recyclable waste is generated (e.g., home office), to make it easy to keep recyclable materials separate from the trash.
4. Support Local Companies. You may also choose to help the environment by supporting local Utah companies and products. Supporting local companies not only benefits the environment, but it also helps to boost your local economy. 2 for 1!
We hope everyone will do their part to leave the Earth a better place than when they arrived, think green, think clean.