Eco Friendly World - Earth Day
Each year on April 22nd, we celebrate a holiday known as Earth Day. Words such as “eco friendly” and “green” are used everywhere, and recycling seems extra important. Earth Day was founded over 40 years ago, when people began to realize the importance of a clean environment and a healthier world. Earth Day was created so that future generations would have a better life on a more sustainable planet.
Earth Day History
Earth Day was founded in 1970 by a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, named Gaylord Nelson. During the time leading up to this, environmental protection was not a popular concern. However, in 1969 a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, started to change that view. The spill caused extensive damage to local wildlife and the ecosystem. At the same time, the United States was in the middle of the Vietnam War, and its many protesters. Nelson was motivated by the events of his time. He saw the enthusiasm of the protesters and combined their efforts with an environmental cause. Because of this, 20 million people across the nation rallied for a cleaner environment on that very first Earth Day-April 22, 1970. Many consider this day to be the start of the Modern Environmental Movement.
Earth Day Activities
There are plenty of fun and educational ways to celebrate Earth Day. The most common activity is to plant a tree. Planting trees is an effective way to contribute to an eco friendly (which is another way to say environmentally friendly) world. Trees and plants are an important part our planet; without them, we wouldn't have clean air. Humans breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Trees do the opposite; they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This is one of the major ways in which we are tied to our planet. Another similar activity is to start a garden. Use this as an opportunity to grow flowers, plants, fruits or vegetables. It may be hard work, but watching them grow will be rewarding, and even tasty!
Earth Day Crafts
Through recycling, the potential to make Earth Day crafts is all around us. By using recycled materials, you can create something new out of something that would have been old and wasteful. Not only do recycled crafts help us appreciate and understand the meaning behind Earth Day, they give you a chance to express your creativity. One simple idea is to reuse an old container. For example, use an old bottle as a vase. You can decorate it with things such as paint, stickers or glitter. This can be done with many objects, including empty candy tins and cardboard boxes. An egg carton could be used as a paint palette. For a more advanced project, consider making recycled paper (with adult supervision). This family friendly craft turns piles of old newspapers into greeting cards, posters and stationary. Earth Day crafts are all about about giving a new use to old waste, so be creative and use what's available.
Earth Day for Kids
By learning and conserving (not being wasteful), kids everywhere can make a world of a difference. A large part of celebrating Earth Day is learning about what people are trying to do to help the planet. Renewable energy, for instance, is an important environmental topic. A renewable energy source is a resource that we can use, without having to worry that it will run out. Types of renewable energy that are being explored include solar (sun) energy, wind energy, hydropower (water), biomass (using things such as corn oil) and geothermal (heat from the earth) energy. These are all potential methods that we can use to power our society. In the meantime, it's important for kids to be educated about the ways in which we can conserve. Even something as simple as not letting the water run can make a difference. It may not seem like much, but leaving the faucet on wastes about 5 gallons of water. Other ways to conserve include turning off the lights when you don't need them and reusing old papers for scratch.
Clean Up the Earth
Reducing waste is a major concern when it comes to the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the United States the average person produces about 4.5 pounds of garbage everyday. If that doesn't sounds like much, think about this: the amount of toothbrushes thrown away each year adds up to around 50 million pounds! This is only a small portion of the waste produced. So where does all this trash go? When properly disposed of, most of the garbage ends up in landfills, recycling centers, and some of it even gets used as renewable energy. But when trash isn't thrown away correctly, it ends up harming wildlife and the ecosystem. Each year, many animals die by getting tangled up in trash. Some mistake the litter for food, and choke. In fact, over a million seabirds are die each year because of litter. This is why it's so important to reduce our waste, pick up after ourselves and recycle. By taking responsibility, we can make the Earth a cleaner and happier place.