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Do you know the history of Earth Day?

By: Lola Frailey Wednesday April 19, 2017 comments Tags: earth day, sustainable farming, organic farming

Happy Earth Day!

May this day bring peace and reflection for all that Mother Nature does for us (and the animals too!). I thought this was an excellent opportunity to talk about the history of Earth Day and what can we do in our community to stay green and sustain our planet. It's the only home we have!


Currently, Earth Day is observed by more than a billion people worldwide and the numbers continue to grow.

It all started back in the 1960's and 1970's. Americans were consuming gasoline at an alarming rate. The resulted air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of promise and prosperity. Environmentally friendly and going green were not in anyone's vocabulary.

In 1962 Rachel Carson wrote the New York Times bestseller Silent Spring. Her book sold more than 500,000 copies in over 24 countries. This jump started public awareness regarding the environment and links between health and pollution.

Then in 1969 at an UNESCO Conference, John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth be celebrated on March 21, 1970 (the first day of spring). A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson which was to be observed on April 22, 1970.

The “Earth Day” idea sparked Senator Nelson’s imagination upon witnessing the horrific aftermath of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara California. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the media and persuaded Pete McCloskey to serve as his co-chair. The date April 22nd was chosen because it fell between spring break and final exams and would hopefully gain a lot of participation.

On April 22,1970, over 20 million Americans participated in Earth Day with one form or another. This achieved a rare humanitarian alignment. Weather you were a politician, a farmer, a student, or a businessman, they all had something in common: environmental awareness. By the end of 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were created.

Today, various events worldwide are held to demonstrate our love and support for the environment. Many such events are coordinated by the Earth Day Network (see for more information).

Present Day and How We Can Help

Today, the fight for a clean environment continues with more urgency than ever before. Issues such as deforestation, soil erosion, and global warming plague the once beautiful earth we call home. Think your voice is too small to be heard? Below are some simple day to day things you can do to show the Earth you care:

  • Make your backyard garden totally organic- no pesticide, herbicides or chemical fertilizers
  • Carpool, or take public transportation.
  • Reuse cups or glasses for water, coffee, or tea. You can also bring your own lunch containers to work and save money from eating out as a bonus.
  • When possible, telecommute and work from home.
  • Sponsor or participate in environmentally friendly community events such as adopt a highway or ride your bike to work day.
  • Request for bills and account notifications to be sent via email or text message. It's faster and can help reduce mail and identity theft.
  • Unplug phone chargers, and appliances that may use power even when they are not in use.
  • Turn off lights upon leaving a room. Hint: If you have a hard time with this, invest in a motion sensor light that will turn off for you.
  • Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store. Bonus: Some stores even give you a small refund for bringing your bags in!
  • Set up a recycling program at work. Place bins around the office to collect paper, cans and bottles. Hint: You can compost coffee grounds and tea bags too!
  • Finally, act today! Mother Nature can't stay beautiful on her own. She personally needs your help. Let Earth Day be the day YOU decide to support your planet, not just for today but everyday!

One way we at Hawaiian Organic Noni celebrate Earth Day everyday is by vermicompostingResearch has shown that one 5 gallon bucket of worm castings will bring back a whole acre of depleted land — imagine what it can do for your backyard garden and indoor plants! Worms are incredibly efficient at breaking down organic waste into nutrients, so they do it quickly and with very little smell. Worms are also very forgiving, and there are easy ways to get started. Click here for more!


Lola Frailey

About the Author: Lola Frailey