Earth Day: The 22 April is since 1970 devoted to environmental protection. Because this date is committing more than 150 countries as the international Earth Day – often: International Mother Earth Day. The aim of this day of action: To encourage people to rethink their consumer behavior with regard to ecological aspects and sustainability. Reason enough to include this occasion in the calendar of curious holidays from all over the world and to tell its story below. What is this day of action about?
Who started Earth Day?
Both the name and the concept of Earth Day were first proposed in 1969 by the American John McConnel at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco. As part of his proposal, McConnel named March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, as a possible date for this day of action, which was actually later proclaimed by the then UN Secretary-General U Thant as a world day of action in matters of environmental protection.
Since then, this date has been used in numerous US cities as a day of action, whose tradition includes ringing the World Peace Bell. At about the same time as McConnel’s conception of Earth Day, the then US Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, initiated a national day of environmental action under the name Environmental Teach-in, or Earth Day, which has always been celebrated on April 22nd since 1970.
Nelson’s aim here was to encourage the public to reconsider their purchasing behavior. The very first Earth Day was very well received in the United States with 20 million participants, with American universities and colleges events playing a major role as the primary organizers of the campaigns (see also the other articles from the calendar of environmental campaigns) ).
Why does International Mother Earth Day fall on April 22nd?
One reason for the election April 22nd: As the Day of Creation, this date is also a major ecclesiastical celebration or remembrance day for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA. In this respect, the day of the jelly beans (English National Jelly Bean Day) or the day of the April showers (English April Showers Day) , which is also celebrated today in the USA, probably played a minor role. If any. 😉
In terms of content, this day of action naturally fits perfectly into a series of days of action related to the topic of environmental protection. As an example, reference is made to the following dates:
- the World Wetlands Day on February 2,
- the World Wildlife Day on March 3,
- the World Turtle Day on May 23, or
- the World Ocean Day on 8 June.
From US Earth Day to International Mother Earth Day
Since 1990, Earth Day has always been celebrated on April 22, also internationally or as a global campaign with many actions and events. The aim of the first international edition of Earth Day was to raise public awareness of the environmental problems raised at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (for a thematically similar day of action, see also the article on World Day of nature protection (engl. World Nature Conservation Day) on 28 July).
In 2009, the Bolivian government, under its President Evo Morales, proposed to the General Assembly of the United Nations to declare April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day, based on the original idea of Earth Day to continue. The General Assembly approved this proposal with resolution A / RES / 63/278 (see also the list of related links below).
This day of action received a certain current urgency in 2009. Specifically: Following the failed Copenhagen UN climate conference, Morales invited to International Mother Earth Day 2010 and to an alternative world conference of peoples on climate change and the rights of mother earth, during which over 30,000 participants from more than 140 countries came to Cochabamba from April 20-22, 2010.
In his address, Morales named as the main person responsible for the ecological and social imbalance of the planet, primarily the development of capitalist economic systems, in whose hands everything from water to soil to the human genome has become a commodity. In connection with Morales as a political figure, after all, he is an avowed socialist, his statements can be correctly classified from an ideological point of view, but that does not change the fundamental correctness of his appeal at the time.
As part of the International Mother Earth Day, the state representatives present were supposed to look for ways out of the climate crisis together with experts and NGOs. With over 30,000 participants from over 140 countries and government representatives from 47 countries, the event from 20.-22 April conference in Cochabamba achieved great success.
The so-called Agreement of the Nations was then worked out in working groups, with which the industrialized countries were asked to halve their CO2 emissions by 2010 and to pay 6% of their annual budget into a world climate fund. If these agreements are contradicted, governments and companies should be able to be sued.
Earth Day Quotes
1. “The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”—Gaylord Nelson
2. “I love watching the sunrise!”
3. “The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it.”—Barry Commoner
4. “What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.”—Henry David Thoreau
5. “We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.”—Barbara Ward
6. “Most of us are familiar with recycle and reusing, but how often do we think of the third R – REDUCE? ‘Reduce’ is probably the most important of the three Rs because, if we reduced, it would limit the need to recycle and reuse.” Catherine Pulsifer
7. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir
8. “It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.” Dalai Lama
9. “There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” Mother Teresa
10. “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”-George Bernard Shaw
11. “He that plants trees loves others besides himself.”—Thomas Fuller
12. “Electric cars are definitely the way of the future”
13. “I’m not an environmentalist. I’m an Earth warrior.” Darryl Cherney
14. “The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.”—Ernest Hemingway
15. “Time spent among trees is never time wasted.”
16. “To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” William Blake
17. “The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it.” Barry Commoner
18. “We all share the same world. We all have an obligation to take care of it.”
19. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”—Margaret Mead
20. “One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.”—Leo Tolstoy
21. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Walt Kelly
22. “To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”—Helen Keller
23. “I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
24. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” Francis Bacon
25. “Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.”—John Ruskin
26. “The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”-Lady Bird Johnson
27. “Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.”—George Washington Carver
28. “WE have to learn to sacrifice simple things now so that our future generations have a wonderful world to live upon. What an inspiring quote.”
29. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
30. “The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”—John Paul II
31. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Proverb
32. “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Henry David Thoreau
33. “This environmental quote is a great reminder of our stewardship over the Earth. We have a duty to take care of it.”
34. “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Native American Proverb”
35. “I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” —Mother Teresa
36. “Everything we do has an impact. This quote about the environment is definitely a good reminder of that.”
37. “There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.” Brooke Medicine Eagle
38. “The earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Berry
39. “… do something. Pay your rent for the privilege of living on this beautiful, blue-green, living Earth.” Dave Foreman
40. “Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values…. God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.” Charles A. Lindbergh
41. “The Earth is what we all have in common.” —Wendell Berry
42. “He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” Thomas Fuller
43. “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” Marshall McLuhan
44. “Every day is Earth Day” Author Unknown
45. “Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”—Jimmy Carter
46. “True happiness only comes when we are connected in some way with nature.”
47. “Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option … they will become a necessity.” —Fujio Cho, Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motors
48. “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
49. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”—Jane Goodall
50. “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair.” Kahlil Gibran
51. “Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley