WHAT IS EARTH DAY? Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. People all over the country made promises to help the environment. An estimated 20 million people across the United States took part in the first Earth Day's demonstrations, speeches and teach-ins calling for a cleaner environment. Now "the environment" is part of the public and political landscape. Since then, Earth Day has spread all over the planet, promoting and honoring local efforts dedicated to the environment. Earth Day is organized every year by more than 4,000 organizations in 168 countries. Over the past 30 years, the observance of Earth Day has grown steadily, with more and more people all over the world are joining together to increase awareness of the Earth and environmental responsibility because there is increasing awareness that there are problems we need to work on together. This is our special day to look at the planet and see what needs changing. Earth Day presents an ideal opportunity for everyone to become more aware of environmental issues and to learn ways to protect and conserve our natural resources. National and local groups are developing a multitude of activities this month that are expected to involve hundreds of millions of people worldwide. There are lots of easy things we can do in our own homes and neighborhoods every day to help save our earth, air and water. Some of the activities your community can participate in to promote Earth Day: Hold conferences on environmental issues Organize a Local Cleanup Project: get local citizens to pitch in and help keep their community litter-free, clean grounds, remove invasive plants and maintain parks and walking trails. Promote Recycling Have a Trash-to-Treasure sculpture competition Organize an Environmental mural painting competition Promote Environmental awareness among the young: Earth Day helps kids develop ecoawareness o Organize children's activities, treats, programs and information about caring for our earth at a local park or school. Children can make an Earth Day bracelet and a bird feeder, take a nature walk, make a worm compost bin, plant a tree to take home, play a recycling game, make a recycled paper flowerpot, visit with Can Guy and Smokey Bear and enjoy music. o Teach energy and water conservation; alternative energy options o Promote using less-toxic chemicals in the home, office and garden o Honor environmentally aware businesses o Organize an environmental fair, booths and activities, hands-on education workshops, an arts and crafts center for children, a scavenger trash hunt, with prizes and certificates for the child who collects the most trash Plant trees and flowers on a public street Organize an effort to clean trash from a river or lake So let's celebrate Earth Day by learning new ways to protect the environment together. Let's make Earth Day every day!