Earth Day Celebration


Plant a tree on Earth Day. Photo by Laura Nicolescu.

Laura Nicolescu, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the long-time coming  modern environmental movement. The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

As 1990 approached, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Today, Earth Day has reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people in 193 countries every year, as a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

The fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. North Texas is doing its part to save our cherished planet. A new tradition in the DFW Metroplex, the program Ten on Tuesday encourages businesses, schools, community groups and individuals to reverse litter by picking up 10 pieces of trash and recyclable materials each Tuesday. If for just one year, 5,000 people chunk 10 pieces of litter a week into the trash or recycling bin, the Metroplex will reduce litter by 2.6 million pieces. Getting involved is simple – take the pledge online to pick up 10 pieces of litter every Tuesday and chunk them in the trash or toss them into a recycling bin. Pick up 10 at a time, two at a time or go the extra mile and pick up even more and even more often.

In addition, you can Join Keep Frisco Beautiful for the 2016 Great American Cleanup and Clean It and Green It in Frisco. On Saturday, Frisco residents will team up to clean our city’s streets, parks and waterways from 9-10:30am. After cleaning, all volunteers are invited to Frisco’s Earth Day Celebration at IKEA to enjoy a free lunch provided by IKEA. Rufus the Recycling Dog will also be there, alongside tons of free and fun family-oriented entertainment. Frisco is also holding their annual “Chunk your Junk” event on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Ikea.

But it doesn’t have to be Earth Day to work to help the environment and provide future generations with a healthy planet. The three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle are great ways to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. Taking these actions conserves natural resources, landfill space and energy, deccelerating climate change (which, by the way, is real). Plus, recycling turns materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill into valuable resources. For example, you can reuse your containers, binders, bags and backpacks whenever possible.

Saving our planet goes beyond saying “we should go green,” “save the whales” and “I saved sea turtles” when we flaunt our reusable bags that have become a sign of class more than caring. This Friday is a good day to take a step back and take a long hard look at the planet we live on. It is up to us to sustain it. Plant a tree. Start a group with your friends to pick up trash.

Do it once a year.

Or once a week.

Or even every day. Like Junior Franco Perez.