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Happy Earth Day!
News story originally written on April 22, 2003

People across the country are celebrating Earth Day. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 of each year to help recognize the need to preserve our planet. On this day, people help out by attending environmental rallies, recycling items such as paper and plastics, and cleaning up littered areas.

Earth Day began in the spring of 1970, and was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson. Senator Nelson was dedicated to environmental protection and land conservation. His interest in the environment began with a book about pollution. This famous book named Silent Spring by Rachel Carson discussed the dangerous effects of pesticides on the ecosystem.

Nelson wanted to make environmental concerns a part of public policy. In 1962, Nelson persuaded President Kennedy to go on a national tour discussing the importance of environmental conservation. Though Kennedy had some impact on the nation, environmentalism did not gain any recognition in the political state of that time.

Because of this failed effort, Nelson decided to found Earth Day in 1970. He accomplished this by speaking to college campuses across the country. The college students became interested and pushed the nation and the government into recognizing the importance of saving the environment.

Earth Day has been celebrated ever since. It has had a major impact on our nation and on the laws that govern our nation. Several pesticides and pollution-causing agents have been banned from the United States. In some states, cars must meet certain environmentally-safe standards. Recycling has become a major effort in reducing the amount of trash our nation produces. In effect, Earth Day has created a more environmentally conscious nation.

The Earth is a very unique planet that has supported life for billions of years. Nature has been the backbone of our ecosystem, providing our planet with pristine beauty and the things necessary for human survival. As our human population continues to grow, the natural resources that we use will continue to deplete. Human society must do what it can to maintain what nature has been providing for years. To accomplish this, we must clean up after ourselves and use our resources wisely. If we don't, we could destroy our most important asset...the Earth itself.

So celebrate Earth Day, recycle those milk jugs and old homework assignments, don't litter, plant a tree, love your planet, and have fun!

Last modified April 23, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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