In various parts of the US, Mexico, and across the globe, plans are underway for events to celebrate and commemorate a day that concerns us all: April 22nd – Earth Day. Here in Puerto Peñasco, the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) is planning their First Family Day for Saturday, April 21st with games and activities for all ages at the CEDO field station in Las Conchas (Information: firstname.lastname@example.org Puerto Peñasco: 638-382-0113 AZ: 520-30-5473)
Just as every country has dates filled with patriotic pride that are fundamental to their ideals, Earth Day should enjoy the same importance as it encompasses all geographic limits, regardless of political, religious, or national ideology. We all inhabit the planet Earth, united with the same ecologic ideals and respect. Though these ideals are gaining more strength bit by bit, they are not new.
This whole revolution to turn our eyes toward the planet that houses us began on April 22, 1970, and the first celebration promoted by US Senator and Environmental activist Gaylord Nelson. At that time, participants included two thousand universities, ten thousand elementary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities, all with the intent on the creation of an environmental agency. This social pressure bore fruit and the US government created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a series of laws focusing on environmental protection. Two years later, in 1972, the first international environmental conference was held in Stockholm, Sweden, objective of which was to raise awareness among global leaders concerning the magnitude of environmental problems so that they would institute policies necessary to eradicate them.
The environment still needs help; this can be seen day in and day out through our consumption habits, when we leave our minds on “stand by” particularly when on vacation. This world requires more and more people with the strength to possess and demand awareness for the planet we inhabit, people who are not afraid to tell others to respectfully “pick up your trash” since that’s one of the most visual forms of pollution. There are other ways to help out each day:
• Caring for drinking water, which represents only 2% of the earth’s water
• Turning off lights and disconnecting equipment when not in use
• Use of cups that can be easily recycled, such as glass and aluminum instead of plastic.
• Check online sites for info on how to make “eco-friendly” things, recycled handcrafts, original ideas, and how-to tips with activities for the whole family.
It’s not enough to just know and talk about it, or for schools to have their “ecology moment,” examples are needed and future generations are counting on this example, for future certainty.
It is worth noting the United Nations recognizes Earth day each year on the equinox (around March 21st). On February 26, 1971, Secretary General U Thant signed a proclamation to such effect. At the time of the equinox the Peace Bell is run at the central offices of the UN in New York.