Earth Day 2009: What's the Big Deal?

Get Involved in Earth Day 2011!

Celebrate the 41st anniversary of Earth Day with Earth911:

The purpose of Earth Day is to draw awareness to issues that society often overlooks. Photo:

The purpose of Earth Day is to draw awareness to issues that society often overlooks. Photo:

Original story (2009) continued below:

This year people seem more aware of the environmental crisis that faces our planet. President Obama’s campaigns dealt with the issue of global warming in every debate. Many experts are analyzing the crisis in the auto industry point to a lack of fuel efficiency innovation as a major cause of Detroit’s problems, and more companies are touting their “green” products.

With all the daily attention being paid to the environment, people this year may be asking themselves what the big deal is about Earth Day. The answer, quite simply, is that without the advent of Earth Day, environmental issues would likely still be in the background. So, as Earth Day approaches, here are a few reasons to appreciate its history and meaning once more.

History Repeats Itself

  • Although the idea for Earth Day came about in the early 1960s, the first official Earth Day wasn’t held until 1970.
  • The purpose was to draw attention to environmental issues that we tossed to the side (air and water pollution, the dumping of toxic chemicals and the destruction of natural habitat) and received little to no federal attention at the time.
  • Earth Day was based on the fundamentals of grass roots organizing, and events took place around the country.
  • Such local efforts are still at the heart of every Earth Day celebration.

Knowledge is Power

At the heart of Earth Day is the idea that the more people know about our national environmental policies, the more likely they will be to play a role in shaping them. Earth Day has always sought to inform and educate. Of course, knowledge isn’t worth much if it can’t be put to use, and Earth Day celebrations provide every individual an opportunity to get involved. From local beach cleanups and rallies for clean energy, to petitioning representatives to pass environmental legislation, April 22 is the focal point for environmental causes we might otherwise take for granted.

In 1970, the same year of the first Earth Day celebration, President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s work in studying and regulating pollution springs from the same spirit of stewardship as Earth Day.

The World’s Biggest Party

  • With billions of participants worldwide, Earth Day is the world’s single largest secular civic event. Who wouldn’t want to attend that celebration?
  • Many cities base their educational and community outreach efforts around a weekend of festivities, live music, good food and time spent outdoors.

How are you planning on celebrating? Making some simple changes to celebrate Earth Day can help set the stage for more earth-friendly commitments in the future. Check out Earth911’s Earth Day 2009 Channel for ideas on how to get started, insights into recylcing and what others pledge to do. For more info on events in your area, visit the Earth Day Network’s list of events.

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  1. Hi Steve,

    I am celebrating with one of my favorite Earth Day–Sring to Fall– activities…planting trees!


  2. earth day is a BIG DEAL.


  3. Hi Steve,

    i admire your articles about green… my friend have too…check out her website…have comment there..
    you can ask her to link your site for some articles…nice idea..

    great to be here,


  4. i super agree with you Bonequisha Earth day IS a big deal.Earth Day is the day we try to save our planet and GO GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    also good job GreenvsGreedy planting trees is a sulution for earh day

  5. save our earth Now!!now ice is melting so i tell my friend oso planting tree yesterday..come join us

  6. Pingback: news bytes » Blog Archive » earth day facts

  7. NO TIME to playing now….this earth will become HOT will be end today or tomorrow..but dont worry if we all have team work only one people plant one tree,this world have 60 billon people if 60 billon plant one tree can become a GREEN EARTH and cool and cool and cool earth…last week the polar ice have 1k~2k panguin dead and polar bear also dead …..if you still dont care about this will never never can see penguin and polar bear this world if you can follow we all plant tree then earth can be GREEN EARTH come visit my friend blog come we do it NOW !

  8. Hi,
    I’m celebrating earth day by turning off the lights for an hour or two. celebrating earth day is a very important. why? because by not celebrating earth day something bad could happen to our earth. well thanks alot for listening


  9. yeah earth day isnt dat important
    just kidding we have to take care
    of our earth so plz do so plz
    thank you

  10. I remember an Earth Day at UMASS Amherst in 1972 – Buckminster Fuller was there – my mom loved him. She was demonstrating TetraHouses for kids education and fun. fastforward I am in the man that redistributes the world – one slab and tile at a time…each according to his needs, no worries, its not a scarce resource and we make it thinner all the time to stretch it any way ( but longer ) but seriously – low carbon footprints…

    we promote natural stone as a multitasking material, it gives you a beautiful floor that will never wear out (in your lifetime) and it feels good too – something about the natural stone that ‘grounds’ you when you walk on it. it is the earth, not a sidewalk or soft…it is really real. we just put up a banner at asnstone in northampton mass today that says: Every day is Earth day at ASN Natural Stone, our new slogan…rock on. rock on in. rock it baby. rock it now. just rock it!

  11. i hate the whole point of earthday.
    its saying that we should only do something to help our planet 1 day a year.

    this day i never forgate.we should want to celebrate this day every day not only 22 april. SAVE ENVIRONMENT SAVE LIFE.

    this day i never fore this i time of change. our nature ask some time for itself.we should protect our nature. we should turn of light and other electronic equipment when there are no need. and mostly we should save water.because without water we cant image our life and nature also.

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