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Earth Day, April 22, 2005 35 years of Earth Day

(Continued from EdWorld At Home)

Thirty-five years ago, I was a high school sophomore helping clean up an illegal dump for the first Earth Day. It was just a couple weeks after my birthday, my 15th, but even to a self-involved teenage boy, it was more exciting to be a part of something big, something much bigger than my 15th birthday.

My 16th birthday, the next year, when Id get my drivers license, well, Earth Day would be welcome to the backseat!

We moved something like four tons of trash that April day in 1970, as I recall, and I think Earth Day has clearly moved a lot of people, furthering the advances we have had in recycling and re-using, if not so much in reducing, what we Americans consume. Though there is a legitimate debate about how well were addressing environmental problems as a nation, at least we are a more environmentally aware nation than we were 35 years ago.

At its ripe old age of 35, Earth Day is now an event that families might consider making important in their family calendar, not only for the sake of the environment, but because of the great educational opportunities that dont seem merely educational to kids.

Of course, the official government Web site for Earth Day for kids is (surprise!) Earth Day.gov for Kids, and the government has a Web site for Earth Day because of the Earth Day Proclamation, June 21, 1970, in which the federal government actually recognized March 21, the vernal equinox, as Earth Day, a day celebrated from the beginning, however, on the anniversary of the actual clean-up that came before the proclamation, April 22.

I like that little bit of Earth Day history because it shows how an idea like Earth Day is really about people doing something, not just talking about it.

Quite honestly, we think that our Education World resource page, which provides links to Web sites on these important EARTH ISSUES, is a little bit more fun than most Earth Day information repositories. One things for sure, we link to a far greater variety of sites than the official site does.

  • Air Pollution

  • Energy Depletion

  • Overflowing Landfills

  • Rain Forest Destruction

  • Vanishing Species

  • Water Pollution

In recognition of this special day, the Kids side of Education World At Home has a treasure hunt challenge kids can do and a scorecard they can keep. Kids can do the challenges at different levels. So check out that article. You might want to set up a kind of Parents Guide for yourself simply by visiting all the sites mentioned and thinking about the kids potential answers to the higher-level challenges: What would you look for in a well thought-out answer?

Enjoy your Earth Day and your springtime!

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