Did you know that there are actually two different Earth Days?
In the United States, Earth Day is most often recognized as occurring on April 22, but there is another internationally recognized celebration which takes place a month earlier, on the vernal equinox. The March 21 celebration began in 1970, and came from the mind of John McConnell, a newspaper publisher and the community activist. He first unveiled the idea at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment in 1969. McConnell urged people everywhere to remember their responsibility as stewards of the planet and the environment.
The vernal equinox – otherwise known as the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere – is considered a day of renewal, as well as an unique day on which night and day are the same length, everywhere in the world. McConnell saw a significance in the equilibrium; and he believed people would be able to come together in agreement regarding preserving the Earth and her resources on this day. In 1971, the idea gained overwhelming support when the United Nations signed a proclamation making the March date the international observance of Earth Day.
April 22nd is America’s own version of Earth Day, which originated at nearly the same time as McConnell’s celebration. On that day in 1970, Wisconsin senator and environmental activist Gaylord Nelson organized the Environmental Teach-In, an event which emphasized environmental education and proved that there was ample grass roots support for the cause. The event was a huge success, and sparked similar events on university campuses and in town squares across America. The annual observances quickly inspired many environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA was formed within three years, and as years have passed “think globally and act locally” has been the rallying cry.
Green plants clean and detoxify the air, give off oxygen and are known to be influential in promoting well being and serenity. Given how useful green plants are in keeping balance in the environment, Earth Day is the perfect day to bring a new green plant to your home or office. Ah Sam has a wide selection of plants that will both beautify – and benefit – the environment. March 21 or April 22 – pick your day, find an event in the San Mateo area, and help make the world more balanced and healthy!