The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970. 20 million US citizens participated in a celebration of the planet’s environment on that day!
Earth Day has since turned into an international celebration. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.
The Earth Day movement spawned the idea that people should “think green” and encourage legislators to enact laws to protect the planet. Significant changes have resulted, including the passage of the Endangered Species Act and creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Protect the Planet by Thinking about These R’s:
Refuse – Refuse is to say no to things people offer you that you don’t need, that you never even asked for. Refuse to buy products that can harm you, your family and the environment. Say no to plastic grocery bags. Refuse to buy harmful products, like cleaners. Buy more eco-friendly options or make your own. Say no to single use plastic.
Reduce – Think about what you use and buy. Could you use less? Reduce your junk mail. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries. Reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your home by getting an energy audit.
Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don’t have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don’t use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
Repurpose – Take something and use it for something else. This requires a bit of thinking and crafty-ness, but doesn’t have to be gorgeous. Pretty up a regular old cardboard box to use as storage. Save rubber bands, veggie scraps and more to use in interesting ways. Reuse an old yoga mat as foot pads for furniture, a tent “door mat” and more.
Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you’re only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.
Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it.
Happy Earth Day from everyone on our dental care team – let’s all lead a greener life!