Daily Archives: April 22, 2008

Earth Day then and now

I remember the buzz about the first Earth Day. I was 13 years old and probably saw posters about the event in my school. I’m sure my best friend, Cynthia, had some involvement in it. Her parents were the most likely candidates to be environmentalists of anyone else I knew. I don’t remember what actually I did for Earth Day 1970, but I must have done something enjoyable because I remember wondering, years later, whatever happened to Earth Day?

First View of Earth from Moon (photo courtesy NASA)

The summer before the first Earth Day the world had seen the first image of our planet from the surface of the moon. Perhaps seeing that image made the inhabitants of Planet Earth see our planet as a more fragile place than we’d done before. I don’t remember being environmentally aware until the spring of 1970, but after that I became more conscious about protecting the Earth.

At first I think the emphasis was on littering. There were campaigns to not litter. I took it to heart and made sure I didn’t contribute to litter of any kind. After that I remember being aware of industrial pollution. In high school my friend Cindy Mahaffy and I made plans to protest toxic emissions outside a local factory with signs stating, “Don’t pour filth into the air, Air is the best thing that we can breathe.” (a line from Donovan’s song, “Spaceship Earth”).

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