Happy Anniversary! Earth Day Celebrates Its 40th

This TogetherGreen Volunteer Day event was held by the San Diego Audubon Society on April 18th, 2009 in celebration of Earth Day. Volunteers restored and rebuilt trails by pruning shrubs, removing invasive plants, and building with rocks and fill. They also learned about San Diego’s plants and animals while they worked. Courtesy of TogetherGreen.

April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the largest organized civic action in U.S. history: Earth Day. In 1970, 20 million Americans participated, helping pave the way for watershed legislation such as the Clean Air Act as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Since Earth Day went global in 1990, more than a billion people have signed on. Here are a few ways you and your family can celebrate this year: 

·      Get informed. Watch Earth Days, a history of the revolutionary eco-activism that led to the first Earth Day.
·      Volunteer. Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green program encourages individuals and groups to get involved in environmental stewardship and register their activities on its website. TogetherGreen, an alliance between the National Audubon Society and Toyota, has also been holding volunteer events throughout April at dozens of Audubon sites to ring in Earth Day’s 40th.
·      Talk about it. The Earth Day Network recognizes April 22 as a global day of conversation about the environment and "will bring together mayors and locally-elected officials from cities and towns around the world to take part in an exchange of concepts and ideas." Find a meeting where community leaders in your area will engage in discussion here. Write a letter asking a Congressperson to pass aggressive and comprehensive environmental legislation. Fill out Audubon's Earth Day Declaration, which asks President Obama for a clean energy revolution and climate action.
·      Celebrate! On April 25th, attend one of Earth Day Network and its partners’ (Audubon is one) major events around the globe. The flagship commemoration—a climate rally—will be at the National Mall in Washington D.C., where guests including James Cameron (of Avatar fame) are slated to speak. Musicians such as Sting and John Legend will lend some heart and soul to the event. RSVP here. Can’t travel too far to a celebration? Try something at home, using these ideas from the National Wildlife Federation. Audubon’s new family section also offers earth-friendly activities to tide you through this year’s celebration and beyond. Check out our past editions in the January-February and March-April issues. And learn more about Audubon's Earth Day initiatives here.

*This post was updated at 1:10pm, 4/19/10.

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