The tradition of Earth Day began 45 years ago when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson announced a “national teach-in on the environment,” on April 22, 1970. Twenty million Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, young and old, rallied that day for a healthy, sustainable environment. Read about Earth Day here. This movement led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day went global twenty years later, in 1990, and its reach has continued to expand. Here are some ways Earth Day’s sponsors suggest celebrating:
- “Green” your house of worship (what better day to survey the building, change the light bulbs, or make a list of upcoming projects?)
- Ask your leader for an Earth Day sermon (there’s power in the pulpit)
- Attend a Green Service (or lead one!)
- Grow a garden at your place of worship (Does your congregation have grass? Can you grow food for the community and teach children where their food comes from?)
- Collect recyclable from your place of worship (Or if you already do, consider extending your recycling service to harder-to-place items. Or begin composting.)
Here are some other things you can do:
- Plan a congregational picnic, bike ride, or both
- Teach children, youth, and adults about creation care
- Start the Task of the Month with congregation members
- Host a healthy planet potluck featuring local, organic, and vegetarian dishes
- Reach out to the neighborhood by hosting a film or lecture
What Are YOU Planning for Earth Day?
Used with permission from Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light