Earth Day - Why Do We Care?

manhattan beach

In a perfect world every day would be Earth Day but I am glad that we take at least one day to reflect on mother nature and all it's greatness. If you're like me you obviously understand that Earth Day is about recognizing our efforts to protect our environment but I have no idea how this day came about or why it's celebrated on April 22nd? So, naturally I decided to consult my trusty 'ol friend Mr. Internet, and here is the cliff note version of what I discovered (pretty interesting):

  • The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
  • With Nelson leading the charge on April 22nd, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies
  • Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
  • In 1990 Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

With this new found knowledge I felt inspired, I also wanted to do my part to pioneer some change, hummm, but how? Well living near the beach, I often strap my daughter into her radio flyer trike and head to the boardwalk for our daily walk. It's become a fun tradition for us to go 'look for dolphins' while enjoying the feeling of crisp ocean air. but today our walk was a little different. Our goal wasn't to find dolphins, instead it was to observe, appreciate and show gratitude for all of nature -from the trees, flowers and grass we strolled past to the air, water and birds that flew by. We took time to acknowledge each natural element and it's importance and what it would feel like to not have those things. At 12 months, I'm sure she didn't understand all that I was saying, but as her mom, I realized how important it was for me to teach her these things. Not just today -Earth Day, but every day.

So, this "Monthly Challenge" isn't about fitness or dieting (you're off the hook, sort of), this challenge is about showing gratitude for Mother Nature. I challenge you for the next 30 days -hopefully longer- to do something that benefits our environment, whether it's educating yourself, planting a garden, or walking instead of driving. 

Pay It Forward: In honor of Earth Day, thanks to our team members, Hustle & Heart was able to donate to The Nature Conservancy to help tackle critical conservation issues and make a positive impact around the globe.