Earth Day

The annual celebration of Earth Day occurred on Monday, April 22nd. Earth Day is an annual celebration that is important nationally as well as in our local community of Milledgeville. At Georgia College, Earth Day is celebrated through an event put on by the Environmental Science Club called Earthfest. During Earthfest, various organizations at Georgia College, with a mission to help the environment, gathered on front campus to engage in different activities, including tie dying, painting pots, making environmentally friendly bracelets, and even receiving a free plant of your own to take home. Earth Day at Georgia College was a perfect opportunity to participate in activities that, at the end of the day, helped students learn more about the beautiful planet we call home.

Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Mainstream America was oblivious to rising environmental issues at the time, however, the publishing of a book by Rachel Carson started the conversation of environmental awareness. Silent Spring raised understanding and concern for living organisms and the environment and also linked pollution with public health. This book took a stand against industry pollution and eventually led to the beginning of Earth Day a few years later.

The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. Americans found themselves outside on the streets, in parks, and in auditoriums with a purpose of demonstrating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Protests were organized by citizens and local universities to fight back against the decline of the environment. All of the people participating in the day’s activities realized they all had something in common. This cause was important to even more people than they thought; about 20 million Americans participated.

New York City on the first Earth Day in 1970.

Earth Day of 1970 received a large amount of support from people from all lifestyles, backgrounds, and communities. Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act by the end of that year.

Earth Day today is currently recognized as the largest secular observance in the world. Each year, more than a billion people join in on the celebration and take action that result in an increasing amount of policy changes each year. This special day is an example of how showing support for an important cause can be the beginning of change. Georgia College and the Office of Sustainability are proud to participate in a celebration that is so paramount.

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