Earth Day, a celebration of life

Kaitlyn Steinhiser, Feature Writer

Over 192 countries have declared April 22 to be a day dedicated to celebrating the planet that all humans live on, and they celebrate in many different ways.

Thanks to peace activist John McConnell, the holiday was made official in 1969 at a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization conference in San Francisco. However, he wanted the date of the holiday to be on March 21, which is the first day of spring in the Northern hemisphere. A month later, a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day, the name of the April 22 holiday, was chosen because it simply seemed like the most logical choice. In fact, Nelson stated that it was “an obvious and logical name suggested by many people.”

While the holiday was originally only celebrated in the United States, an organization created by Dennis Hayes, the original national Earth Day coordinator, got over 144 more countries to celebrate the holiday as well in 1990. New countries join the Earth Day bandwagon every year due to Hayes’ efforts to globalize the event.

Although 192 countries celebrate the holiday, they all tend to celebrate it differently. For example, India considers the holiday to be a day to promote the protection of Earth’s animals, such as the Asian elephant.

The Asian elephant was once extremely prevalent through many areas of India. Now, the animal is considered endangered by India’s government. To prevent the extinction of this animal, India started a three-year campaign.

The campaign flourishes on Earth Day due to the fact that so many people in India take that day to celebrate the Earth and all of its creatures.

Another country that celebrates Earth Day uniquely is China. While a majority of the China celebrates Earth Day individually, the Chinese government decided to create a stamp to commemorate Earth Day and the planet Earth itself. That way, the Chinese population will forever Earth Day’s importance.

Here in the United States, everyone seems to have their own way of celebrating the holiday. For example, senior Michael Miller said, “ I conserve as much energy as I can.” This goes along with the Earth Day mantra because the day is dedicated to conserving energy and protecting the Earth.

Another example of how Americans celebrate Earth Day could be what sophomore Brianne Lindborg does. “For Earth Day, I plant trees or go outside and clean my yard up of any trash that was blown into it.” said Lindborg.One does not have to participate in a major project to celebrate Earth Day, they could just do simple tasks that help the Earth like Lindborg does.

However, some organizations plan large events to celebrate the Earth and everything that lives on it. For example, in San Diego, CA, San Diego Earth Works has held an annual Earth Fair for the past 26 years. Each year, approximately 60,000 people attend the event to celebrate Earth Day. At the event, the attendees plant gardens and learn more about the environment.

So, although everyone celebrates Earth Day differently, it is still a day dedicated to protecting, celebrating, and simply enjoying the Earth and every organism that lives on it.

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