From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published April 22, 2010 03:43 PM

Earth Day 2010

What is Earth Day? It has spread and is celebrated all over the world.

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970. Earth Day is celebrated in the spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold free events for the public on the National Mall in Washington DC  this weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The events will feature interactive, fun and educational exhibits related to environmental protection.

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U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced his idea for a nationwide teach-in day that became Earth Day in a speech to a conservation group in Seattle on September 20, 1969, and then again six days later in Atlantic City to a meeting of the United Auto Workers.

Senator Nelson hoped that a grassroots outcry about environmental issues might prove to Washington, D.C. just how distressed Americans were in every constituency. Millions of Americans participated in the first Earth Day.

EPA will have exhibits on an environmental forensics demonstration, cutting edge automotive technology, climate change habitat loss exhibits, environmental videos, an interactive kids booth about environmental hazards, backyard composting demonstrations, a Chesapeake Bay water model, and live mascots teaching kids about recycling and protecting nature, and others.

EPA will also be showcasing the creative efforts of more than 40 college teams and their design solutions to sustainability challenges around the world. The participants of the exhibit will compete for a $75,000 prize. The expo highlights designs that address alternative energy technologies; collection, purification and distribution of water; agricultural practices to reduce pesticide run-off; new technologies for green buildings and other innovative approaches to improve society’s sustainability.

In addition to the Washington EPA’s events, Earth Day Network will be sponsoring a free concert on Sunday, April 25th with Sting, John Legend and more.

To turn Earth Day into a sustainable annual event rather than one that occurred every 10 years, Senator Nelson and Bruce Anderson, New Hampshire's lead organizer in 1990, formed Earth Day USA. Building on the momentum created by thousands of community organizers around the world, Earth Day USA coordinated the next five Earth Day celebrations through 1995. Following the 25th Anniversary in 1995, the coordination baton was handed to Earth Day Network.

There are several similar observances. World Environment Day, is celebrated on June 5 in a different nation every year, is the principal United Nations environmental observance. Many communities also celebrate an Earth Week.

For further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day or http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/19FF662F8A7430028525770D005496FD

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