Remembering our environment: Earth Day 2013

This Monday, April 22 marks the 43rd annual Earth Day, a day of support for our natural surroundings.

It all started in 1970, when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessed the devastation of an oil spill in 1969 Santa Barbara, Calif. He coordinated the effort with other politicians, the press and schools, and by April 22, 20 million Americans rallied coast to coast for the sake of the environment.

This event led to the modern American environmental political agenda, spurring the foundation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Since, the movement has gone global, and Earth Day itself is largely credited with birthing the modern environmental movement worldwide.

Today, April 22 is International Mother Earth Day, as designated by a United Nations resolution in 2009, and is coordinated across nearly 200 countries by the Earth Day Network.

The Earth Day Network features a number of ways to get involved, including opportunities to become a climate reporter, recycle E-waste, and to help stop air pollution, all of which contribute to their campaign: “A Billion Acts of Green,” an effort established last year.

The Network has already surpassed the one billion mark, and as of this writing, they’ve reached 1,019,860,277 acts, and is now pushing for two billion.

The Town of Mint Hill adopted a resolution at the March 14 Board of Commissioners meeting that acknowledges the town’s and the community’s responsibility toward the environment, and officially declares April 22 as Earth Day in Mint Hill.

The resolution, “urges all citizens, businesses, organizations, schools, clubs, congregations, neighborhoods and families to participate in Earth Day activities and engage in environmentally sound practices every day.”

Locally, there are many ways to get involved for Earth Day, including promotions and volunteer efforts from local businesses and schools, such as the Charlotte Nature Museum’s Earth Day Play Date Saturday, April 20.

Some Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools will be urging students to wear green, and teachers will be teaching Earth Day-themed lessons that Monday to promote environmental awareness and responsibility.

For more information on Earth Day, opportunities to get involved, and Earth Day activities, visit earthday.org.

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