What is Earth Day, and what made it into the globally celebrated event that it is today? Here’s everything you need to know about the story behind April 22, who instigated the movement, and what you can do to lead a green lifestyle.
History of Earth Day
The dawn of the 20th century brought to us advancements in the transportation and manufacturing sectors. While these undoubtedly paved the way for future technological developments, they also contributed to the majority of pollution at the time. The sudden demand for leaded gas and similar resources produced all kinds of smog, smoke, and toxic gas.
To make matters worse, no one was concerned about living a green lifestyle back them. The thought of looking for an alternative energy source or natural gas provider didn’t even cross anyone’s mind. But you can’t blame them. After all, people were making mechanical advancements for the first time in centuries. Who has the time for energy savings tips?
Earth Day Was Born
The entire concept of Earth Day was brought to life by former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. He was one of the few politicians concerned with energy efficiency at the time. Senator Nelson had always been passionate about the environment, but what pulled the trigger on Earth Day was when he witnessed the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA.
Now, Senator Nelson knew that the government wouldn’t bother pushing for a green lifestyle unless it affected them directly. So, what he did was combine the student anti-war movement with awareness on air and water pollution to create an entirely new political agenda. And it worked!
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans who used to fight for energy efficiency on their own gathered for the first time. They took to the streets their concerns on factory pollution, the automotive industry boom, and toxic dumps.
Earth Day Becomes a Globally Celebrated Event
In 1990, a group of environmentalists urged advocate Denis Hayes to organize another major Earth Day event. This time, however, their goal was bigger. They wanted to go global. The results were more than satisfactory as they managed to rally more than 200 million people from 141 countries all across the globe.
Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Here are several fun ways to celebrate Earth Day:
1. Pick Up Trash While Walking
Did you happen to spot a random piece of trash while commuting to work? Pick it up. Set an example by throwing it in the proper place.
Pro Tip: In line with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not advisable to touch strangers’ rubbish with your bare hands. Only do so when you’re wearing gloves.
2. Join a Local Community Geared toward Environmental Awareness
If you’re not yet a part of any organization geared toward environmental awareness, now’s the best time to join one. Choose a group that you can truly be passionate about.
3. Grow a Sustainable Garden
Growing your own food is one of the basic principles of sustainable living. The idea is to plant fruits and veggies, tend to them, and then eat them once they’re ready for harvesting.
Note: Make sure you follow soil and water conservation tips. Sustainable living is great, but don’t lose sight of the bigger goal: going green.
4. Bike to Work
Biking to work instead of driving will greatly reduce your carbon footprint for the day. Plus, it’s good exercise.
5. Start Planning Your Meals
Go to the back of any restaurant, and you’ll see an entire dumpster of half-eaten meals, discarded foods, and even raw ingredients. This is reality. To prevent wasting food, start planning your meals, and only eat what you need.
6. Sign Up for Carpool
If you need to drive to work, at least sign up for carpool. Not only are you helping the environment, but you’re also earning your gas money back.
Make Every Day Earth Day with These Energy Conservation Tips
It’s great that you want to celebrate Earth Day, but if you want to make an impact, lead a green lifestyle every day. Here are five energy-saving tips you can apply to daily life:
1. Look for a Natural Gas Provider
Why should you switch to a natural gas provider? There are several reasons why, but the main one is it’s the most energy-efficient type of fossil fuel around. You don’t need to burn too much natural gas to reach your desired heat. Plus, it’s very versatile. You can use it for an array of purposes.
2. Replace Damaged Light Bulbs
Get rid of old, damaged light bulbs. Not only do they consume more energy, but they don’t even provide the indoor lighting you need.
3. Call for Regular HVAC Maintenance Checkups
Note that defective HVAC systems consume more energy just to function normally. To prevent damages and issues from popping up in the first place, schedule for regular maintenance checkups.
4. Control TV and PC Monitor Brightness
One of the simplest energy conservation tips is to adjust the settings on your TV/PC monitor. Reduce the brightness by a few bars and set the screen to go black after a few minutes of inactivity.
5. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
A few hundred bucks is a small investment for a smart thermostat that can exponentially reduce your energy consumption. This is especially beneficial for homeowners who leave their HVAC systems on 24/7.