Earth Day Past and Present

Earth Day originated in the U.S. to increase awareness of environmental issues and inhabitants’ responsibility to maintain the Earth’s natural environment. The holiday was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. Nelson called it an environmental teach-in and encouraged universities around the nation to participate in the holiday and raise awareness of environmental issues.

The first Earth Day was celebrated by approximately 20 million Americans and thousands of universities participated. Students held demonstrations, protests and rallies concerning environmental deterioration related to power plants, oil spills, pesticides, toxic waste, landfills and destruction of forests and natural environments.

Earth Day was also proclaimed on March 21, 1970 by the current San Francisco mayor. It fell on the March equinox, which symbolized the awakening of nature and new life. Although it was not marked as an official national holiday in the U.S., many countries around the world celebrate Earth Day on the March Equinox rather than on April 22.

The University of Houston is holding its third annual Earth day celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 at Butler Plaza—in front of the library.

UH will be rewarded a grant from Green Mountain Energy to install solar panels on campus and establish an internship for a UH student to record the benefits of the panels on campus and do a project related to energy conservation.

Green UH will have games and prizes for students made of recyclable materials including tic-tac-toe, skee ball, horseshoes, ring toss and Earth Day trivia! Community Learning Agricultural Sustainability Program (C.L.A.S.P.) will be featuring the second part of their art exhibit series. The demonstration is called Wasteful Ways: Food System.

Vitamin Water, Monster and Honest Tea will be giving away free products.  Students can learn about green practices from many departments on campus and how to be greener. Departments who will be attending include: UH IT, Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Parking and Transportation, Dining Services, the Library, the Campus Bookstore and more!

Be a part of the Green movement at UH and join us for the Earth Day festivities!

-Sarah Chesley

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