SUNDAY, APRIL 22: “Going green” may have been a Hippie buzzword, but that’s not the case today! From men and women whispering in “green prayer” to teenagers clutching recycled handbags to families installing energy-saving appliances, all are giving a green thumbs-up to Earth Day—every day.
Also this week: We’ve got news about a marvelous Earth Day-themed picture book by poet Ted Kooser.
THE FIRST EARTH DAY
FROM CITY OF ST. FRANCIS
Each year as Earth Day rolls around, the names of many men and women are invoked as founders of the annual observance. What can be verified is that the world’s first Earth Day was proclaimed in San Francisco, the City of St. Francis—the patron saint of ecology. It’s true! (Wikipedia has details.) Earth Day was first observed there in March of 1970; then, a month later, the April 22 Earth Day called for by Sen. Galord Nelson was held as an environmental “Teach In.” Today, this is a global movement. The Earth Day Network coordinates “green” events in more than 175 countries worldwide. In 2009, the United Nations officially deemed April 22 International Mother Earth Day.
The inspiration for Earth Day, many believe, began with Rachel Carson’s 1962 New York Times bestseller, “Silent Spring.” Following the book publishing, more than 500,000 copies of Carson’s words were picked up around the globe. Many other writers had called for the protection of nature, but suddenly Carson’s book transfixed readers in a new way. John McConnell conceptualized Earth Day in 1969, at a UNESCO Conference.
HOW YOU CAN GO GREEN FOR EARTH DAY 2012
There are nearly as many ways to help the environment as there are stars in the sky, here are a few:
Does your congregation want to help? Check out the Earth Day Network’s page on Earth Stewardship Resources for People of Faith. Or, click over to the organization’s main Faith Page, and see just why the Earth Day Network finds religious leaders so crucial to the “green” movement.
Are you a fan of Flickr? Check out the “Environment in a Day” Photo Contest and take a photo of your environment during the 24 hours of Earth Day. Favorite photos will be posted on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
Want to help on behalf of the country? Volunteer to lend a hand at Serve.gov.
Need some inspiration? Try the Earth Day Network’s “Pick 5” idea by choosing five earth-loving actions and committing to them. Amateur gardeners can get a tailor-made plan for a more bountiful season with help from SmartGardener.com.
ENJOY MORE READTHESPIRIT EARTH DAY STORIES
Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.