Earth Day is something all gardeners can appreciate. Our club has celebrated this day with a plant give away, during the Earth Day event at the Homosassa Wildlife State Park. Our dedicated members have grown and handed out free plants, wildflower seeds, posters, literature, rain gauges and garden advice to those in attendance. Check our calendar on the Home page to see this year’s scheduled event.
Everyone has a different idea on the state of environmental matters, however it’s undeniable that the world is changing. Rising food, gas, and energy prices have impacted people rich and poor. Weather extremes and disasters are regularly in the news. Earth Day reminds us to evaluate our lives and what’s important. No action is too small to make a difference. Just changing one or all of your lights to Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or LEDs, reduces both energy use and heat released into our homes. Try coordinating your errands into one trip instead of three. Fixing leaky fixtures and installing low flow faucets saves a surprising amount of water. Clotheslines are making a comeback, too. These measures not only save energy and the Earth, they also save money. Of course you can also grow some of your own food, introduce drought tolerant plants into your yard, replace lawns with resilient ground covers or landscaping and install drip irrigation! The Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook, is excellent for getting a start and check out their homeowner page for more publications or information.
History of Earth Day:
The idea for Earth Day belonged to Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, after witnessing the aftermath of the Santa Barbara, CA oil spill in 1969. 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. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” and promoted events across the country. As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Groups that had fought against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. 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. In 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder. (source: Earthday.org)
*To see your lifestyle’s “Ecological Footprint,” click here.
*152 countries and territories switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2012, learn more here.
*A video time capsule, of the various demonstrations around the country, during the very first Earth Day April 22, 1970: here.