April 22, 2011 marks the 41st annual Earth Day. Founded during the birth of the environmental movement, Earth Day arose as a symbol of the nation’s new-found ecological awareness. Establishment of the holiday followed the publication of Rachael Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring in 1962 which exposed the extent of pollution in the United States. This book was considered a wake-up call to communities across the country as well as throughout the world, selling over 500,000 copies across 24 countries and appearing the New York Times Best Seller List.
During the 70’s, the culture of anti-war and and civil rights activism gave rise to this new environmental consciousness. After witnessing the catastrophic Santa Barbara, California oil spill in 1969, Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired to join forces with Congressman Pete McCloskey and Denis Hayes to establish Earth Day as a national observance.
The first Earth Day witnessed protests across the country where millions of Americans demonstrated in universities and local government agencies to assert their rights to clean, sustainable living conditions. These rallies were cited as the impetus for the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Today, the Earth Day Network sponsors environmental advocacy projects year-round, including healthy school initiatives, civic leadership programs, climate change awareness, and encouraging women’s rights in the green economy.
This year’s Earth Day is dubbed “A Billion Acts of Green”, themed after their organization’s grassroots campaign to devote pledges to environmental sustainability. Suggestions for activities range from donating money to fight deforestation through their Canopy Project to Arts for the Earth, a celebration of environmental artists and design competition. For a complete list of ideas plus downloadable pdf files to help organize and host your own Earth Day celebration, visit the Earth Day Network website.
Bambu Batu’s home city of San Luis Obispo will be celebrating on April 23 in El Chorro Regional Park from 10am-5pm. The Park — surrounded by the El Chorro Botanical Garden, Steve Weiss AIDS Memorial Grove, and Dairy Creek Golf Course — will host an outdoor village of 15o exhibitor spaces, ten prominent locations, and two stages. Free admission and transportation by the Regional Transit Authority to the event will be available throughout the county. Join the global village and honor the planet with some fun outside!