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Earth Day 2011

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on April 13, 2011 with No Comments

Each year, Earth Day – April 22 – marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller “Silent Spring” in 1962. Up until that moment, more than any other person, Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.

Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

As a result, on April 22, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories, toxic dumps, pesticides, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

As 1990 approached, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. It used the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a talking drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on clean energy.

Much like 1970, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for the environmental community. Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to a strong narrative that overshadowed the cause of progress and change. In spite of the challenge, for its 40th anniversary, Earth Day Network reestablished Earth Day as a powerful focal point around which people could demonstrate their commitment.

Earth Day Network brought 225,000 people to the National Mall for a climate rally, amassed 40 million environmental service actions toward its 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green, launched an international, 1 million tree planting initiative and tripled its online base to over 900,000 community members.

The fight for a clean environment continues in a climate of increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. Be a part of Earth Day and help write many more victories and successes into our history. Discover energy you didn’t even know you had. Feel it rumble through the grassroots under your feet and the technology at your fingertips. Channel it into building a clean, healthy, diverse world for generations to come.

This information was provided by Earth Day Network. For more information, visit www.earthday.org.

Local Earth Day happenings

Help to make the world cleaner and greener

La Lumination

La Lumiere School is holding an Earth Day festival entitled “La Lumination” on April 16 from 2-7:30 p.m. The extravaganza aims to illuminate the hearts and minds of people clutched by ignorance as La Lumination is a festival based upon environmentalism. The event will feature local bands playing throughout the day, students from La Lumiere and surrounding schools will be presenting and selling artwork, diverse local restaurants will be selling food, and environmentalists will be giving educational yet entertaining presentations. For more information, call 219-210-9452, or visit www.lalumination.org.

Environmental Family Fun

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County will present the sixth annual Earth Day Celebration in cooperation with many generous supporters from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 16 at Sunset Hill Farm County Park in Valparaiso.The free event offers a variety of exhibitors, activities for children and families, vendors and entertainment to help Northwest Indiana residents live a ‘greener’ life. This year’s event also will feature the Duneland Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day, offering parents and caregivers some great resources to teach healthful habits to children and inspire physical activity for life.

Highlights this year will include the Recycle Cycle for two family shows; Build-Your-Own Birdhouse by Ducks Unlimited; the Recycling Olympics; Z107.1 live broadcast: and plastic bag exchange for reusable bags. For a complete listing of Earth Day events and exhibitors, visit the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County’s website, www.itmeanstheworld.org.

Compost sites to open

Two public compost sites will open for the season on April 18, providing Porter County residents with the opportunity to collect nutrient rich material for their gardens and also drop off yard waste to be composted or mulched. The Valparaiso compost site, 2150 W. Lincolnway, will begin regular hours from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. The Boone Grove compost site, 400 West 550 South, will open from 12-5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.

Materials accepted at these compost sites include organic yard waste, leaves, garden clippings, household plants, brush, limbs, logs and firewood. Grass is only accepted at the Boone Grove compost site. No treated wood or lumber is accepted at either site. Both sites also accept old or unused electronics, compact fluorescent light bulbs and batteries for proper disposal. For more information about district compost sites, visit www.itmeanstheworld.org.

Talk about ‘green’ issues

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Northwest invites the campus community and general public for an informal discussion about environmental issues affecting Northwest Indiana on Wednesday, April 20 at IUN at 11:30 a.m. Attendees are invited bring their own lunch and join SPEA for great networking opportunities and free dessert.

Leading the discussion will be Dr. Lin Kaatz Chary, who will discuss whether “green jobs” exist and what types of jobs are “green jobs.” With more than 25 years of experience in environmental health issues, Chary is an expert in the area of community development, labor and the environment, with a focus on exposures to toxic chemicals and Great Lakes policy. For more information, contact SPEA at 219-980-6695.

Community Shred Day

Opportunity Enterprises will partner with the Valparaiso Rotary Club to celebrate Earth Day with a Community Shred Event on Friday, April 22 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. at the United Way of Porter County, 951 Eastport Centre Drive in Valparaiso. Community members may bring their paper documents to be destroyed and recycled for no cost by SecureShred, the confidential data destruction division of Opportunity Enterprises. The event is free and open to the public, and no pre-registration is required. For more information, contact SecureShred at 219-464-9621 or visit www.oppent.org.

Portage Clean-up

Celebrate Earth Day with Portage Township Trustee’s Office as they “Team-Up 2 Clean-Up” on Saturday, April 23 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Haven Hollow and Field of Dreams parks. The Trustee’s Office is looking for volunteers to clean up debris in the parks, clean ditches and plant flowers. Volunteer check-in is from 9-9:45 a.m. and work day runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. A volunteer appreciation cookout follows at 1 p.m. at Haven Hollow Park.

Local businesses are encouraged to participate in the workday in one of three ways: by forming a team of workers and participate in clean-up initiatives, by donating needed tools & supplies (garden gloves, trash bags, rakes, paint sprayers, shovels, flowers, etc.), or with a monetary sponsorship donation to offset project costs. Breakfast and cookout sponsors also welcome. For more information, call the Trustee’s Office at 219-762-1623, or visit us on Facebook.

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