Today April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, I gently reminded my daughter yesterday as I usually do and she asked me a simple question, “what is it exactly”. This came I am sure because there have been other Earth day celebrations recently, Earth hour was celebrated on the 27th March, and some places celebrate Earth Day at the Equinox. I felt myself not able to answer after celebrating this day for most of my life. I probably first heard of it from Friends Of the Earth which I used to actively be part of, or the early days of Green Peace so I decided to check it’s history, so here goes! It was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and is now a global celebration with some communities extending the celebrations for a week focusing on green living.
It was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and was inspired by the protests of the 1960s peace and environmental movements against nuclear plants, ripping up of our planet for oil and coal etc. Earth Day started as a “national teach – in, on the environment” held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses and by raising public awareness of pollution. Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight fostering appreciation of the earth’s environment and awareness of the issues that threaten it. From its beginnings in 1970 when 20 million Americans mobilized to call for greater protections for our planet, it has grown globally with at least 190 countries celebrating our planet Earth, which is our only home.
Today it is coordinated by the non profit Earth Day Network and has many organisations like National Geographic participating to spread awareness. Hundreds of social media groups celebrate with dance, song, meditations, awareness, talks from NASA, Indigenous leaders, inter faith religious leaders and scientists all joining in prayer and so much more. It is said that the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act are all considered to be products associated with the 1970 Earth Day, also in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day when the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed into force. This network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
Each year there is usually a different theme, this years being Climate Action, of course before our world lock down this was top of the news especially with the recent movement of children led by Greta Thunberg. This movement grew to where she was speaking with many world leaders and at global conferances. It is ironic that these children who had been holding a weekly Friday protest known as “Fridays for Future” or “School Strike for Climate” since 2018 have been locked away these last few months. I don’t know about other countries but here in Spain, under 16’s are not allowed outside for any reason or under any circumstances, they are in total isolation in full lock down, this isn’t meant to be or sound like a conspiracy theory, it is just an observation and fact. So for today after slipping off the radar Climate Action is back, I have even seen a few mainstream news outlets talking about Earth Day which looking back is quite unusual.
Over the years I have been actively part of education projects or joined other environmental projects, with internet it became easier to join with others, forming groups to celebrate the day with united projects, initiatives, prayers, blessings or simply to spread awareness of the day. Each year depending on what my schedule was, I have joined in something, originally I started finding out about online events from an organisation called “May Peace Prevail On Earth” International, but of course today there are so many organisations or groups that I am spoilt for choice. This reminds me that I have always wanted to have one of their peace poles even though I am not a possession person. I often dreamed (silly I know) that I would buy some and gift them, placing in school gardens etc. spreading the vibrations of peace around the globe. I have recently been gifted to, by a stranger to whom I am eternally grateful and to whom I can never repay, it is the strangest surreal feeling that I am still finding difficulty in comprehending. So now when transport is back to normal its time to buy some desktop “peace poles” and gift them on spreading the vibrations of Peace, which is I guess my biggest desire for this planet and humanity.
During these last 39 days I have been the perfect obedient citizen and kept within the confines of my apartment with only the odd 1 minute walk to put out rubbish, but today I have decided that I really need to get out a little longer and connect with nature on this special day. I will take a walk to a few bins! rubbish in one, paper in another and plastics to another, this way I will get to walk through a small open park and an open area of beautiful purple thistle, dandelions and wild plants. I will pass many trees and try to connect as much as I can with them, without stopping to sit underneath, I also have some Plant Essence which I will sprinkle around nourishing and giving blessings. I was on my balcony earlier and thought of tending to my pots but decided against it, I need to wait a little longer for the foliage from my Freesias to die back and also I like the green of the wild plants (weeds). It’s impossible to buy any flowering plants now so I shall keep and admire my dandelions, I did however give them plant essence and talked to them to give thanks.
I hope you find your own way of celebrating Earth Day, even though we can’t participate in the usual projects such as tree planting, we can send the energy of preservation and respect out to our Mother. There are so many things to choose from online, as Earth Day Network and many other organisations strive to make it a digital day. I hope you are drawn to what resonates within you and join in, to flood the world with messages of hope, optimism and, above all appreciation for all that nature gives us for free. Although it should be Earth Day everyday, having this one day has served its purpose of bringing education of the need for conservation and it has united many organisations in one goal.
I will leave you on this special day and a New Moon with a few old pictures of my Earth Day celebrations many years ago, and as always send wishes for you to stay safe and take precautions to protect yourself and loved ones including taking care of your mental health 💜