Editorial: Earth Day

Weed Beach is part of Saturday morning’s annual Earth Day town clean up in Darien  — Susan Shultz photo

Earth Day is an annual, globally celebrated event that asks people to think about and environmentally respect the world we live in.

To honor Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, Darien has several opportunities residents may participate in. There is a town cleanup on Saturday and a Darien Land Trust trails cleanup on Sunday. In addition, there’s an Earth Day celebration in Cherry Lawn Park on Saturday, and an All Things Green Fair at the Darien Library on Sunday.

The first Earth Day took place in 1970 and was organized by Gaylord Nelson, a former Wisconsin senator, in an effort to raise awareness about water and air pollution. On the first Earth Day, 20 million Americans participated in voicing their concerns and raising awareness about environmental concerns, including oil spills, toxic dumps and endangered animals.

The first international Earth Day took place in 1990, with 200 million people from 141 countries discussing the importance of preserving the environment and thinking of ways to actively protect the environment.

This year marks the 46th celebration of Earth Day, and since the establishment of Earth Day, people have put forth the effort to make sustainable and environmentally beneficial changes. In the United States, government officials enacted the Clean Air and Water acts as well as the Endangered Species Act. People are using cleaner alternatives to oil and are recycling.

To celebrate Earth Day this year, you can take many different steps to help protect the Earth we live on. You can involve yourself in one of the many Earth Day network campaigns by checking out earthday.org. You can do something as simple as utilizing a reusable water bottle or turning off the water while you brush your teeth, or even planting a tree.

Another important aspect of Earth Day is remembering we are not its only inhabitants — as Nina Miller pointed out this week. This is the time of year when many baby animals can be spotted — and sometimes mistaken for abandoned. Use caution and give these animal families their space.

Remember that you can do something to protect the environment every day of the year, not just on Earth Day.