Written by: McCadden, ERAFANS Online Facilitator
“We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.” — Maya Angelou
Earth Day is an annual celebration honoring the achievements of the environmental movement and raising awareness of the need to protect the Earth for future generations. In the US, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, and throughout the rest of the world on either April 22 or the Spring Equinox.
The first Earth Day was organized on April 22, 1970, and was attended by 20 million people across the US, strengthening support for legislation such as the Clean Air Act (updated in 1970) and the Endangered Species Act (1973). In 1990, a global Earth Day was organized, with more than 200 million participants in more than 140 countries.
Nowadays, the Earth Day Network brings together more than 20,000 partners and organizations in 190 countries and supports the Earth Day mission year-round. This mission is founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Bringing together more than 1 billion participants every year makes it one of the largest public, secular events in the world.
How can you learn more and get involved?
Take a look at the official website full of ways to get involved!
The EPA website offers more about Earth Day’s history, plus ideas for educators.
ERAFANS is happy to offer our latest Song Grove (PDF) with a focus on songs honoring our connections to the Earth. If you have a song sapling favorite that’s not included, please email us (subject: Song Share).
Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day!
Some simple ways to celebrate Earth Day with children (even if not on April 22) could include holding a community gathering or class event:
Naming aspects of our nature neighborhood that we appreciate
Dancing (especially circle dances!)
Telling stories about meaningful experiences we’ve had in nature
Planting trees or plants, dedicated to the future generations
Creating a community garden
Litter cleanup at your school, program location, a local park, or waterway
Feasting together on a potluck meal or snacks after any of the above
Inviting families to experiment with using no electric lights on Saturday April 22, and catching the stories of the children’s experiences when they return to your class/program.
We would love to hear more about how you celebrate Earth Day in the comments!