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5 Facts You Didn't Know about Earth Day

Earth Day is this Saturday - a day when people all over the world take time to be grateful for the planet and show it a little extra love.

Here are a few ways you can contribute to the environment today and everyday:

  • Plant trees
  • Volunteer to help clean up the environment in your community
  • Create a garden and help support local pollinators
  • Conserve your water and energy
  • Recycle

As you prepare to celebrate Earth Day, here are a few fun facts you can indulge in that you might not have known:

1. Earth Day was inspired by the Vietnam War protesters.

In 1970, in the midst of the Vietnam War, the Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson noticed people protesting the war but not putting any pressure on the government to fix the damage done to the planet caused by oil spills, pesticides, and smog.

During this time, there was no Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Act, or Clean Water Act, so Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to make people more aware of the environmental issues at hand.

2. The Earth Day movement actually influenced the creation of the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was approved by President Richard Nixon in December of 1970. It was founded as a way to fix national guidelines and offer more effective environmental protection laws.

3. April 22nd was chosen to appeal to college students.

Senator Gaylord Nelson and grad student Denis Hayes chose April 22nd as the day to celebrate Earth Day. They wanted to appeal to college students who were active during the era of protests, and this date fell between spring break and final exams.

4. Earth Day has inspired real change.

On Earth Day in 2011, people planted 28 million trees in Afghanistan as a part of the "Plant Trees Not Bombs" campaign.

5. There's a new theme every year.

This is actually the first time in history that the theme remains the same as the previous year. Acting as a continuation of last year, this year's theme is "Invest in our Planet."

The goal is to focus on accelerating solutions to combat climate change and to get everyone involved - "everyone accounted for, everyone accountable." If we don't do anything to help our planet now, we will be the ones to face the consequences of our actions later.

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