CHARLOTTE – Every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, a global event that celebrates the environmental movement and raises awareness about pollution and ways to maintain a clean habitat.
The history of Earth Day dates back to the 1960s when Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring raised public awareness of environmental concerns. Hoping to harness the energy he saw in the student anti-war movements of the 60s for environmental awareness, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea of a “teach in” on college campuses to occur on April 22, a weekday falling between Spring Break and Final exams.
Hayes quickly realized the event had the potential to reach all Americans, not just students, and broadened his efforts, mobilizing a range of organizations and faith groups. The renamed “Earth Day” was an immediate success, inspiring 20 million Americans to join together in protest against pollution and it’s public health impact. Environmental-oriented topics can often be politically polarizing today, but the first Earth Day in 1970 represented a rare moment of cooperation across the political spectrum: Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders all came together to support the movement.
In 1990, Earth Day went global for the first time, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues to the world stage. According to Earthday.org, “Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.”
You don’t have to participate in a protest to make a difference this Earth Day. One simple way to honor our planet this April is to focus on reducing your impact on the environment by recycling and reusing waste. In partnership with Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, Recycle the Runway is a project that brings awareness to recycling in a rather unique way.
Recycle the Runway is a unique Eco Avant Garde Fashion Show that allows Mecklenburg students from public and private high schools the opportunity to design, create and model an Avante Garde outfit created from recycled materials. Submissions must be made of at least 85% materials that can be recycled by or within Mecklenburg County, like cardboard, steel/tin/aluminum cans, paperboard, chipboard, newspaper or other tear-able paper, pizza boxes, aerosol cans and paper or plastic shopping bags that are used by grocery, department, and convenience stores.
Recycle the Runway is more than a fashion show; it’s a way to bring attention to the ways we can all reduce, reuse and recycle. In fact, all participants are encouraged to include an environmental “factoid” with their written submission that addresses how the materials they used in their design are commonly disposed of as well as the benefits of reusing these items in a more creative way.
Entries will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges at the event, taking into account creativity, diversity of materials used, adherence to competition rules, the environmental message conveyed to the audience, and the designer’s overall success and implementation. They’ll name winners in categories like “Most Creative Use of Recycled Materials,” “Greatest Number of Different Recycled Materials” and “Best in Show.”
Recycle the Runway takes place on April 30 at Northlake Mall at 1:00 pm. Support our planet and our local young designers by lending your support to this unique event!
Another simple way to “go green” this Earth Day is to try a sustainable, plant-based meat alternative. In celebration of sustainability, Wayback Burgers will offer $2 off its Impossible™ Melts in honor of Earth Day on Friday, April 22. Made with an Impossible™ plant-based patty, the Impossible™ Melt is topped with Swiss cheese and sautéed onions, all sandwiched between Wayback Burgers’ signature toasted, inverted, buttered buns and features Cajun remoulade.
Available only through the Wayback Burgers app, guests can use Earth Day as the perfect opportunity to try a food option that is delicious, nutritious, and most importantly, sustainable. With taste so authentic, you won’t believe it is actually made from plants! Use the Wayback Burgers app to order an Impossible™ Melt on April 22. Wayback Burgers Mint Hill is located at 7014 Tutor Street.