April 22nd Is Earth Day

On April 22nd of each year, people of the world come together to celebrate and honor the biggest and most important thing we have in common – the Earth.

Credit for establishing the holiday is often given to John McConnell, who allegedly came up with the concept at the 1969 UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. The City by the Bay first observed Earth Day the following year, on March 21, 1970.

Around the same time, however, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson established a different Earth Day as an environmental teach-in to be held on April 22, 1970. In 1990 this celebration was taken to an international level by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator twenty years before, with organized events spanning 141 nations.

Designated by the United Nations as International Mother Earth Day in 2009, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 175 countries worldwide every year. The main events across the world are currently coordinated by the Earth Day Network, whose goal is to increase the awareness and appreciation of our earth’s natural environment.

earth day april 22

Some of the events happening across the U.S. the weekend of Earth Day 2012 include:

California: The “Greenest City in North America”
Sunday, April 22, 2012 – 10am to 6pm
Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco
Free event with live music on three stages, workshops, speakers, art work, and more.

Hawaii: AWAKEN Celebration, Earth Day Hawaii
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Nevada: Earth Day Picnic with Friends of Nevada Wilderness
Saturday April 21, 2012
Idlewild Park, Reno, NV
An afternoon of fun for the whole family from the Friends of Nevada Wilderness, including education, discussions about the wild places in Nevada that need protection, information on volunteering, general environmental education, and food!

Oklahoma: Lake Overholser/Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge Clean-Up
Saturday April 21, 2012 – 8:30am to 2pm
Oklahoma City, OK
Volunteers help to clean up the shoreline, park areas, woods, areas along Rt. 66, under bridges, and on the water via kayak/canoe.

Washington, D.C.: Earth Day on the National Mall – Mobilize The Earth
Sunday April 22, 2012 – 12pm to 7pm
Free event open to the public with top musical talent, youth rally and voter registration, prominent speakers and celebrities, non-profit and embassy booths, renewable energy demonstrations, interactive exhibits and a whole lot more.

earth day events 2012

If you’re unable to attend an event this Earth Day, but still want to feel like you’ve honored the day, here are a few activities the whole family can get involved with:

– Plant a tree in your backyard
– Make a pinecone birdfeeder
– Plant a vegetable garden
– Go on a nature hike
– Clean up litter at a local park

When you’re done doing your part to make the Earth a better place, partake in another thing people of the world love – EARTH DAY FREEBIES!

I’m not quite sure how getting free stuff is a celebration of Earth Day, but I’m not complaining. After all, free is free!

Anthropologie: Earth Day craft workshops free for all kids.

Caribou Coffee: Free cup of coffee to all who bring in their own mug.

EVOS: Free organic milkshakes all day.

Disney Store: Free reusable Mickey Mouse tote back to all customers who bring in five plastic shopping bags for exchange.

Jo-Ann Fabric: The first 50 customers of the day on April 22nd will receive a free reusable tote bag.

Pottery Barn Kids: On April 21st & 22nd Pottery Barn Kids is giving away a packet of sunflower seeds to each kid, courtesy of PBL and National Geographic.

Starbucks: Free cup of coffee or tea for customers who bring in their own mug.

Target: While supplies last, you can get a free reusable bag from Target Guest Services.

U.S. National Parks: Admission to all 394 parks across the country is free for the day.

While the following aren’t exactly giveaways, they’re still ways to feel warm and fuzzy inside this Earth Day.

– Bring in your used flip-flops to Old Navy stores; they’ll be melted down and used as playground materials.

– In exchange for purchasing a limited edition reusable lunch bag from the Chipotle restaurant website, you will receive a free burrito card that is only redeemable on Earth Day.

Happy Earth Day! How do you plan on celebrating?

earth day 2012

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