Earth Day’s Origins

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  • Earth Day is essential for the foundation of our planet and to sustain our community and economy.

  • Earth Day is internationally known as International Mother Earth Day.

  • About 1 billion people pay tribute to Earth Day. The population of Earth is about 8 million; that’s almost 25% of the population

  • By 1990,Earth Day was an international holiday officially

  • Democrats and Republicans inspired the the creation of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

  • Kids are taught every day in school about the three R’s reducing, reusing and recycling.

  • Earth day promotes a good international awareness about the health of the planet.

  • The first recognized Earth Day was in the 1970’s making Earth Day about 53 years old.

  • April 22nd, is Earth Day. This nationally recognized day holds its origins in 1969 after a catastrophic oil spill called attention to the destruction of the environment.

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Earth Day, celebrated every year on April 22, is a day reserved for empowering action in order to ensure the health and sustainability of the planet. There is a need for awareness by both humans and corporations who continuously contribute to the pollution of the planet through the constant burning of carbon and fossil fuels. Because there isn’t a fear of the consequences of our actions, human health is in serious threat. Soon, the limit will be pushed to the breaking point, and the world will not be able to recover. But what was the catalyst to create this day? 

The morning January 28th, 1969 a massive oil spill took place, leaking oil into the ocean.  The Union Oil Company (Unocal) had drilled a fifth hole into the ocean floor; they had hit what is called an oil reservation, which ultimately resulted in the oil spill. This was not only the fault of the Union Oil Company, but one shared by the nation due to a lack of governmental restrictions on the use of drilling into the ocean floor.

As a result of the spill, the ecosystem was badly damaged by this event. About 4,900-7,600 adult sea turtles were killed, and, even worse, 56,000- 160,000  baby sea turtles were killed. Thirty-five thousand eggs were never hatched due to the oil. In reaction to this horrifying event, the governor of Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, took action. Influenced by the protests, he organized teach-ins in colleges across the country. 

Denis Hayes, a young activist, was recruited to help with the protest, and April 22nd was chosen as the day to think about action. It had caught so much attention that both Democrats and Republicans endorsed this day ultimately changing the name to Earth Day. The media assisted in helping it catch the attention of millions across the country.

The population now cared, and universities across the country joined in to promote Earth Day. 

On a local level, South Windsor High school does things all school year to help make South Windsor greener. The Environmental Club collects students’ old pieces of junk and trash and helps turn it into reusable things.

It feels amazing to help give back to my community and such a great purpose

— Environmental Club participant, Srinidhi Karthik.

Every year at SWHS, 9th graders must participate in a science fair, and this year the topic relates to climate change. Students will create projects that give solutions to real world problems. “It’s really fun to get to share my ideas about  helping the earth and giving certain animal species a better chance at survival,” said Harini Sambandam, a 9th Grader who is participating in the science fair.

It is nice to see the next generation embrace and make change with very active individuals

— Mrs. Eitel, advisor and leader of the environmental club

Training the next generation of thinkers to help brainstorm solutions is a great way to celebrate Earth Day. 

However, it is important to remember that the simple things matter like recycling plastic bottles or not using plastic bags. Let’s not wait around for another Earth Day to come, let’s do it every day.