Something as unique and precious as the planet earth deserves to be celebrated. Start with learning about and participating in these three special days, and then check our list of holidays celebrated here and around the world.
Don't forget: no matter when you celebrate, for birthdays, winter holidays, and fun outings, there are ways to green up your celebration. Check our list of suggestions for reducing waste and conserving at parties and gatherings.
Chances are you were not born in the 1950s or '60s. While this was a great time for prosperity and building, it was a not such a great time for the environment. Manufacturing was big, cars were big, people starting buying more stuff then they ever had before, and the jet age was really taking off. As a nation, we were not so concerned about the effects of those things on our planet. Untreated waste was being poured into our nation’s rivers and lakes. Rivers were actually catching fire! Animals were becoming endangered faster than ever before. Air pollution was at record highs.
In 1962, US Senator Gaylord Nelson became very concerned about the state of our environment. He persuaded President John F. Kennedy to tour the country speaking about environmental preservation. Small environmental celebrations had been taking place in April each year, and people started talking about making a holiday official. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. It is known as the beginning of our country’s modern environmental movement. The passing of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act quickly followed. Earth Day is now celebrated on April 22 in 190 countries around the World.
America Recycles Day
America Recycles Day (ARD) takes place on November 15th to raise awareness about recycling and waste reduction. Events are held by schools, religious institutions, public agencies, and organizations across the country to educate people about the importance of buying only what you need, reusing what you have, recycling what is left over, and safely disposing of the few things that are left over.
If you are interested in learning more about ARD events in your area, or if your teacher, minister, coach, or other adult is interested in hosting an ARD event please check out the ARD website for more information.
J. Sterling Morton, a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, founded Arbor Day 135 years ago. Arbor is the Latin word for trees, so it makes sense that Morton wanted people to plant trees on this day. Today it is held annually on the last Friday of April. Arbor Day can be celebrated a number of ways in your home, place of worship, school, team, or community organization. You can plan a beautification project, tree planting, or host a paper recycling drive to save a tree.
Visit the Arbor Day website for more information on Arbor Day and how to celebrate.