Shop Windows to the Universe

Please help support Windows to the Universe, and our activities to help Earth and space science teachers, with a tax-exempt donation today!

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.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Researchers Locate Special Penguin Habitats!

Scientists have recently discovered that thousands of Adelie Penguins thrive in patches of the chilly Southern Ocean near Antarctica's coastline. In these special areas of the ocean, called polynyas,...more

Mount St. Helens Is Waking Up!

After remaining quiet for 18 years, Mount St. Helens, a volcano in the Cascade Range of Washington, U.S.A., is showing signs of activity, puffing steam and ash as scientists look for clues to whether...more

Using Leaves From the Past to Tell the Future!

Today, our climate is changing at breakneck speeds. To better understand how this speedy climate change may affect plants and animals in the future, researchers are looking into the past. The researchers...more

Fireball explodes in sky near Chicago

A large meteor exploded in the sky near Chicago shortly after midnight on the morning of March 28, 2003. People in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio witnessed the disintegration of the meteor in Earth's...more

Peeking at Coral Reefs from Space

On May 20, 2003, the crew of the International Space Station took a photo of the Earth below them that shows more than a dozen coral reefs sitting in the shallow waters of the Red Sea. The light blue...more

Total Lunar Eclipse

The first eclipse of 2003 will occur on the night of Thursday, May 15th (or early in the morning on May 16th if you live in Europe!). This eclipse is a total lunar eclipse, so the Earth's shadow will darken...more

A New Look at Weather!

Predicting the weather is not an easy job, but it is becoming easier as new technologies are developed. NASA's Aqua satellite is one of these new technologies that are helping meteorologists make even...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA