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What is Earth Day?

The observance of Earth Day began in the U.S. in 1970 as a way for individuals to gather in response to the growing interest in a national environmental movement.

Escalating concerns for ecological awareness in both the personal and political arenas were amplified by many during this time.

A bit of history from The Old Farmer’s Almanac recounted that proactive John McConnell from California and Gaylord Nelson, then Senator of Wisconsin, both opened the gates for exchange in their local areas. They initiated people to gather together in order to demonstrate their unity over environmental issues.

The spring equinox on March 21 and April 22, 1970 both became key dates and now still represent the millions that came together on that initial Earth Day.

Currently, over 1 billion people from nearly 192 countries take part in Earth Day activities which, according to Earthday.org, makes it the world’s largest public display.

Commonly focused on in many places on April 22, this customarily is a day for earth friendly events like volunteering to pick up litter, planting tree parties and recycling exhibits.

Earth Day Network was created by the first Earth Day’s original team of planners and is now preparing for its 43rd environmental focused event. Their theme this year is the Face of Climate Change on a global scale. Earthday.org is collecting photos from around the world centering on climate change and will digitally showcase them in honor of the reverential day on their site. The images will be shown online as well as at thousands of Earth Day happenings.

For kids and emerging readers, Scholastic has organized a few snapshots of Earth Day celebrations around the world. With a focus on reading and including audio and word pronunciations, children can listen and learn how others participate in environmentally focused events.

While Earth Day is only one mark on the calendar, the grand demonstrations of past events and scheduled future endeavors are a reminder that each day adds up. Though individual efforts may at first seem small, when amplified by many the green movement continues to cultivate.

Image: Scholastic: © Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Image

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