Teacher Guide to Earth Day
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. The first Earth Day celebration was in 1970, and was organized by the United States Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson to bring political attention to all Americans about how the earth was being neglected by trash and waste of water, electricity and natural resources, like gas. He noticed that there was a lot of pollution and waste in the United States, and believed that if enough people wanted to change the bad habits of turning the Earth into a garbage pile and making all the water dirty, then they could do it one person at a time. Now Earth Day is celebrated all over the world by many countries.
Different social and political groups speak out about various environmental issues on Earth Day. These groups use Earth Day to talk about important environmental issues and show people of all ages different ways that they can save the earth and mother nature. A few of the environmental problems that are brought attention to on Earth Day are oil spills in the ocean, air pollution from factories, toxic waste dumps, the use of pesticides on our foods, and the extinction of animals and plants. Individuals talk about what these activities are doing to the earth, and what everyone should be doing to make it a better place to live for now and in the future.
On Earth Day every individual makes a change in his or her environment by doing something to help the earth. "Reduce, reuse and recycle" is a phrase that is symbolic of Earth Day. For example, if everyone on the planet would reduce the amount of trash they make, the amount of energy (electricity, for example) they use, and the amount of water they waste, this would greatly help the Earth save land, water and power to be used in the future. Right now, if we keep wasting and using these things too often, we could run out of them. Earth Day also teaches everyone to reuse and recycle trash. A fun activity can be to collect garbage at home or school and take it to be recycled at a recycling center starting on Earth Day, and then every week during the year. Another tradition for Earth Day is to plant a tree to celebrate by giving back to the Earth. Trees are necessary for humans to be able to breathe clean air and without them we would not survive. As an important part of the earth, on Earth Day we should take the time to give back to the earth and by planting a tree or even a tiny seed, we are replacing life that has been taken away.
Earth Day was first celebrated only by the United States, but now it is recognized in more than one hundred and seventy-five countries around the world. Different countries celebrate in various ways. In Kenya, Earth Day is on the same day as their national tree planting celebration. Many countries have summits, large groups with guest speakers discussing important environmental issues. School children around the world celebrate Earth Day in the classroom by discussing environmental problems and solutions, and by taking part in arts and crafts that symbolize the earth and mother nature.