April 22, 1970…50 years ago today the modern environmental movement began. It was inspired by a book written by a woman named Rachel Carson. The book, Silent Spring, written in 1962 warning of the dangers of the misuse of pesticides to the natural world inspired others and was a call to action. Senator Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day took up that call and enlisted the help of Denis Hayes to organize college students to “take to the streets , parks and auditoriums to demonstrate against the impact of 150 years of industrial development which had left a legacy of serious human health impacts”. This began the fight for a clean environment. By the end of 1970, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created. The National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Clean Air Act were all established. CT Department of Environmental Protection was established in 1971. In 1972 the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act were adopted.
Senator Nelson stated, “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.”
Today take some time to think how you can help the environment. Maybe you want to plant a tree or a garden, use a cloth towel vs. paper towels, reuse something you were going to throw into the garbage for something else…perhaps a work of art, write a letter expressing your concern about something, read a book. No matter what it is, big or small, just think about it, discuss it with someone and then do it.
“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 difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
In celebration of Earth Day maybe you want to take some time to write a friendship note to some friends in the wild or draw a picture. Maybe you can write a note of thanks for clean air, clean water and all the amazing plants and wildlife that call this place “home”.
“Vulture Verses – Love Poems for the Unloved” by Diane Lang. EarthDay.org