It’s hard to live in a state so blessed with natural beauty and not want to celebrate Earth Day.
Earth Day can trace its history back to 1970 when Senator Gaylord Nelson, after a growing unease about the American environment, especially after witnessing a massive oil spill in california, he decided to bring together the fervor of the anti-war movement and mobilize it against pollution.
This movement started as a national teach-in on college campuses across the country. He along with activist Denis Hayes selected April 22 to maximize student participation as it wouldn’t interfere with exams or Spring break.
Hayes realized that it could be much bigger than a student protest and was able to build a national campaign to promote the event he was now calling Earth Day.
On that day 20 million people participated. The response was so strong that it eventually led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water and Clear Air Acts. It still remains one of the largest demonstrations and movements in American history.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate it here in Michigan. The most obvious would be to get outside. Take a hike. Ride a bike. Just take a few minutes to enjoy the natural wonder.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources also has some suggestions on what to do.
- They are hosting a conversation about the environment on their facebook page with Liesl Clark, the director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
- Cleaning up your favorite space. The DNR has some suggestions on what to do and how practice “Leave No Trace” while you clean up
- Also the DNR runs the Nature At School program which teaches kids from all over the state about the environment, local wildlife, and how to take care of the outdoors.
Even if it’s just taking a look out the window, remember to appreciate that great view today.