Earth Day is almost here!
4.3.17 — April is finally here, and we’re looking forward to Earth Day on April 22nd for a whole range of environmental awareness activities and volunteer opportunities.
History of Earth Day
The idea for Earth Day was conceived in 1970 by then-U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson. After witnessing the catastrophic consequences of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA, Nelson pushed for a day that would bring issues about water and air pollution to the forefront of the national conversation through a “national teach-in on the environment” modeled on Vietnam War protests. More than 20 million Americans took part in protests and rallies across the nation, and by the end of the year, this increased public pressure led to the creation of the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Now nearing its 50th anniversary, Earth Day has spread to 193 countries worldwide and is often celebrated as Earth Week to encompass even more activities calling attention to environmental issues.
Why is Earth Day important?
Earth Day is an opportunity to bring global awareness to issues that affect the planet that we share, from deforestation and polluted waterways, to energy consumption and resource use and beyond. Earth Day gives individuals, companies, non-profits, and organizations a day to call attention to these issues and push for policy changes that will benefit the environment.
Ways to honor Earth Day
Here are some simple ways to honor Earth Day this month and all year-round!
Recycle your e-waste: Got old printers? Phones? Batteries? The EPA calculates that e-waste is quickly becoming the largest waste-stream in the world. Find a responsible e-waste recycler in your area to keep these items out of landfills.
Invest in some reusable bags: The focus of Earth Day 2018 is ending plastic pollution. You can help by switching from single-use plastic bags to reusable fabric bags to tote your groceries home.
Leave the car at home: Find ways to take alternative transportation such as walking, biking, or public transit to get to your destination and leave your car at home for a day. An added bonus: you might get to see parts of your city you don’t normally explore.
Get out and explore: If you’re in the Los Angeles region, the Santa Monica Mountains and San Gabriel Mountains offer plenty of opportunity for hiking, playing, and exploring to take in the beauty of the natural world and remind us what we’re fighting to protect. Find a way to get outside in your own town!
Curb food waste: In 2017, Food Forward’s programs offset 6,996 tons of CO2 by rescuing produce that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. Volunteer with Food Forward at a fruit pick, farmers market glean, or produce distribution to get your hands dirty and fight food waste.