According to a brief memoir written by former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson for the Envirolink website, the creator of Earth Day, it didn’t turn out quite as he expected.
Nelson was troubled by the fact that the state of the environment was just not an issue for his colleagues in Washington D.C., so he talked President John F. Kennedy into beginning an 11-state “conservation tour” of the country in September, 1963. The visit to Dallas, Texas, in November of that year – where Ladybird Johnson’s wildflower and roadside clean-up campaign was already making news – was part of the tour. And we all know how that trip ended.
The first Earth Day celebration, intended by Senator Nelson as a grassroots demonstration in support of the environment, took place in 1970. And each year since, people, businesses, and governments worldwide have paused for a moment to think about the environment on April 22.
We think about the environment often, and when we travel, we do our best to make sure that we leave behind the least possible impact. For us, Senator Nelson’s original description of the idea behind Earth Day remains as valid today as it was 40 years ago. It’s not just about saving energy, or spending a day at a festival – it’s literally about saving the planet, and the beautiful living creatures that fly, walk, and swim beside us here on Planet Earth.
“We must recognize that we’re all part of a web of life around the world. Anytime you extinguish a species, the consequences are serious.
“If we continue to live as though we’re the only species that lives here, we’ll create a disaster for ourselves.”
Let’s all remember the words of the man behind Earth Day, and make every day Earth Day by considering the environmental impact of everything we do as we experience life’s adventures!
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