Today is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the planet that is our home, and renew our commitment to caring for it.
In the late 1960s, people realized they were not doing a good job caring for the Earth. Fossil fuel companies were causing huge oil spills, leaded gasoline was putting toxins into our environment, and rivers were so polluted they were catching fire.
Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, proposed establishing a holiday to educate Americans about environmental issues and encourage them to take small steps in their communities to create a cleaner, healthier, safer world.
This holiday, called Earth Day, was first celebrated in 1970, under Republican President Richard Nixon. Millions of Americans attended conferences about natural resource conservation, picked up litter in their neighborhoods, and otherwise did their part to repair damage to the environment.
Today is a great day to ride your bike instead of driving, look around your home for simple ways to reduce waste, or welcome a few native plants to your yard. If we all take these small steps, together we can create a better world for ourselves and our children.