Earth Day 2011
Earth Day has inspired individuals and organizations around the world to demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Read on to learn more about Earth Day and how you take action to protect the earth, promote sustainability and advocate for policy solutions.
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is a day designated to promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Originally established by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970, Earth Day is now a global event celebrated by more than 192 countries each year.
The first Earth Day in 1970 marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Over 20 million Americans participated in the inaugural Earth Day with events and protests against the deterioration of the environment across the country, as well as a one-hour primetime special report about the environment, narrated by Walter Cronkite and with correspondents in dozens of U.S. cities.
As the environmental movement grew, the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.
Teach your kids to appreciate nature on Earth Day >>
When is Earth Day?
In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day. Globally coordinated by the Earth Day Network (EDN), more than one billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities each year.
The EDN and its partner organizations aim to promote green economic policies, create green jobs, encourage activism to stop air and water pollution, green our schools and broaden the environmental movement.
Green your home on Earth Day >>
2011 Earth Day
The theme for 2011 Earth Day is "A Billion Acts of Green." This worldwide campaign encourages simple individual acts (and larger organizational initiatives) to reduce carbon emissions and support sustainability. The goal is to register a billion actions prior to the global Earth Summit in 2012.
As of this writing, over 100 million acts of green have been pledged on the EDN website. It's easy to share your pledge -- which can be anything from walking to work once a week to planting a community garden. Your act of green can be related to green schools and education, advocacy, energy, transportation, sustainable development, conservation and biodiversity, recycling and waste reduction, water and more.
In addition to pledging an act of green, you can attend a local Earth Day event in your area. Many cities have activities, events and celebrations all week long, including Earth Night parties on Earth Day night (or in some areas the night before).
On the Earth Day Network website, you can learn more about how to participate and/or donate, as well as the other elements of the 2011 Earth Day campaign including The Canopy Project, Green Schools, Women and Green Economy, Athletes for Earth, Creating Climate Wealth, Arts for the Earth and others.
Don't forget about the environment as soon as Earth Day night has passed. The goal is to continue protecting of our environment and promoting green living on Earth Day and beyond.
Beyond Earth Day: making a commitment to the environment >>
Quotes for Earth Day
Read these popular Earth Day quotes and take them to heart every day of the year.
More about Earth Day