Celebrate Earth Day

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By Special to The Sun


This Thursday, April 19, thousands of people will gather at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  to celebrate Earth Day, 2012.  

Forty-two years have passed since the first Earth Day observance in 1970.  Originated by Gaylord Nelson, U. S. Senator from Wisconsin, the idea began as a “national teach-in on the environment.”  
Senator Nelson was joined by Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman.  Together they energized 20 million Americans to demonstrate for a healthy environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.
The first Earth Day joined groups fighting against oil spills, pollution from power plants and factories, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, wilderness loss, and extinction of wildlife habitat.
The first Earth Day led to creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in 141 countries attending rallies worldwide.
Earth Day 1990 promoted recycling efforts worldwide and paved the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.  
As the millennium year of 2000 approached, another massive Earth Day organized support for clean energy and a focus on global warming.
This year’s Earth Day theme is Mobilize the Earth.  
The campaign is saying that the Earth won’t wait, even though environmental issues have been pushed aside due to the global recession.  
The problems of climate warming and related environmental destruction will not go away simply because we choose to ignore them.
The time has come for our leaders to refocus on sustainable energy and food production.
This year’s Earth Day goal is a Billion Acts of Green.   
This Earth Day promotion is asking everyone to register a commitment to a single lifestyle change that helps keep our world green.  
To take part in the Billion Acts of Green,  visit Earth Day headquarters at act.earthday.org on the internet or find A Billion Acts of Green on Facebook or Twitter.  
An interesting exercise on the Earth Day web site is the Footprint Quiz, which will tell you how much impact your own life style has on the environment.
The best way for all of us to celebrate Earth Day here in Washington County is coming up at noon on Friday, April 20 at the Farmers Market with a program sponsored by New Pioneers, the extension office, the city, the county and the Homemakers Association.
A short program will begin at noon, followed by lunch for those participating.  
The North Washington Elementary School fourth- grade children will plant the butterbean tent and flowers.  
Come to the Farmers Market and join your neighbors in celebrating Earth Day.