We recently proposed an Environmental Wellness challenge to all our readers. Well, today is Earth Day! Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
In Honor of Earth Day, NASA wants you to step outside and take a selfie in honor of Earth Day! All you need is a camera and a sign showing where you are on our planet. Post your photo to any social media site, using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. Then the agency plans to stitch all the selfies into a image of the earth. That image is set to be released in May.
The first Earth Day celebration took place on March 21, 1970, the vernal equinox that year. It was the brainchild of John McConnell, a newspaper publisher and influential community activist, who proposed the idea of a global holiday called Earth Day at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment in 1969.
McConnell suggested an annual observance to remind the people of Earth of their shared responsibility as environmental stewards. He chose the vernal equinox—the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere—because it is a day of renewal. At the vernal equinox (always March 20 or March 21), night and day are the same length everywhere on Earth. McConnell believed that Earth Day should be a time of equilibrium when people could put aside their differences and recognize their common need to preserve Earth’s resources.
How to do your part for the environment (with hardly any effort)...
Free lint bunnies. The average U.S. household spends up to $135 a year in energy costs drying clothes. A dirty lint filter can use 30 percent more energy to get the job done.
Turn off the tap. The average faucet releases about three gallons of water a minute, so shut it off while you brush your teeth or shave.
Donate old cell phones. About 130 million mobile phones are retired every year, resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste―including potentially hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury. Recycle yours with Call2Recycle.org (log on to find a drop-off location near you) or programs like collectivegood.com (a clearinghouse for nonprofit phone-recycling efforts) to benefit groups such as the American Red Cross.
Reuse everything. Change your mind-set and think twice before throwing anything out. Resealable plastic bags that held carrots today can hold crayons tomorrow. Coffee-cup cardboard sleeves from this morning’s brew can be tucked in a purse pocket to be used again at 4 p.m.
Don’t idle. Pausing somewhere? Shut down your engine: Idling for any length of time burns more gas than it takes to restart the car.