History of Earth Day

Camille C. '21, Writer

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Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the country on the day of April 22. Various events are held to display support for environmental protection. It is viewed as a day of political action along with civic participation. People participate by marching, signing petitions, meeting with their elected officials, planting trees, and cleaning up their towns and roads.

Religious leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations; humans, biodiversity and the planet people live on. The first Earth Day was held in 1970 when millions of people crowded the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.

Earth Day first started as a way for college students to show support for the community, its true meaning has changed over the years.

Earth Day originated in the 1970’s with the environmental movement and was particularly catalyzed by an oil spill in California. It was a way for college students to demonstrate support for environmental protection. As the years have progressed, many people have seen the importance in bringing awareness to all dilemmas our planet is facing, as well as the fact that environmental protection is still needed on the planet,” AP Environmental Science teacher Julie Effler said.

There are many great ways for people all over the world to celebrate Earth Day. By exploring Earth on this national holiday, it creates opportunities for people to gain new experiences in their life. One of the easiest ways to celebrate Earth Day is to get outside and enjoy the elements of nature.

“During the daylight on Earth Day, my family and I always go outside and enjoy the weather while we ride bikes, walk the dogs and go on hikes in our closest nature park, which is usually Highbank Metro Park. Experiencing new elements in life is a great way to celebrate Earth Day,” Danielle B.’21 said.

People will also go out to events that are held to celebrate this national holiday. Events are held right in the heart of Columbus for people to attend.

Earth Day is on my birthday, so every year we will go to the celebration downtown, Columbus Earth Day Celebration, and be surrounded by many others who love to celebrate this day too,” Effler said.

Some other popular events that people can attend near Columbus include the Genoa Park Earth Day Celebration, the Earth Day festival in Westerville and the Earth Day Celebration: Party for the Planet held in Powell.

Another great way to celebrate the day includes volunteering for a organization or fundraiser. There are websites all over the internet with which people can sign up to help out their neighborhood and community on Earth Day. A few organizations that people help are the Earth Day Columbus Organization and Green Columbus.

“Earth Day Columbus is a week of citizen action taking place across Central Ohio during which thousands of everyday people will pitch in to make our city a little greener! From planting trees to cleaning up litter to beautifying parks, there are dozens of opportunities to organize or join in an Earth Day Service Site,” according to the Earth Day Columbus 2019 website.

Green columbus also has opportunities for people to help out in society as well as  healthy meal plans people can eat to benefit themselves and the environment.

Green Columbus has engaged the Central Ohio community to contribute more than 100,000 hours of green citizen service. Earth Day Columbus is growing every year and is a staple in community engagement and beautification for Columbus,” according to the Green Columbus website.

 Throughout the year, Green Drinks are provided at many meetups of local residents who want to help and care for the environment. Kids are always welcomed to participate in the events hosted as well.

“Green Drinks typically take place at a local restaurant and feature remarks from environmental and sustainability leaders and educators,” according to the Green Columbus website.

Students in high student participate in Earth Day by eating and drinking healthy just as the Green Columbus organization wants kids too. They consume nutritious vegetables and drink cleansing juices to help with the digestive system.

“On Earth Day, my friends and I typically head over to Clean Juice or Zest Juice in Westerville and have an acai bowl along with a green juice. I feel this helps the environment and my body by eating healthy food especially on Earth Day,” Ellen K.’21 said.

The first Earth Day held in the 1970’s dealt with people all across the nation starting to provide protection for their environment and community. Currently, Earth Day is much more than just  just caring for the community, it is also about changing ways of life to become better and healthier for the planet.

“Earth Day is one of the most forgotten national holidays in the year, but it is one of the most important for the planet and ourselves,” Owen R.’21 said.