April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The annual event, which was enacted on April 22, 1970, is celebrated around the world to bring awareness to environmental issues and to provide measures that will help protect our planet.
The idea of Earth Day was the brainchild of United States Senator Gaylord Nelson (1916-2005), a conservationist from Wisconsin who was moved to action after seeing the destruction caused by the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
The first Earth Day is also credited with launching the modern environmental movement and leading to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the U.S. such as the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
While great strides have been made since the implementation of Earth Day, there is still a long way to go to preserve the planet. Some of the very issues that were at the forefront during the 1970s, still plague the environment today.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs has always been an advocate of consumer and environmental issues.
In past years and in keeping with the spirit of “Earth Day,” the California Department of Consumer Affairs has held its annual Earth, Safety and Wellness Day. However, this year’s event which was scheduled for May 13, has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Still, there are many things that all of us can do to contribute to Earth Day on April 22 and beyond. Taking even small steps can make a significant difference in the long run.
Here are a few tips on how to help make the planet a cleaner and safer place.
- Use Earth-Friendly Cleaning Products–Many conventional products may contain harmful and sometimes toxic chemicals that can pollute the air and contribute to health issues. Natural and/or homemade cleaning products—vinegar, lemon juice and water—can help to save the environment.
- Don’t Be A Litter Bug–Leaving trash around is not only an eyesore, but also hurts the natural environment and can cause problems for our pets and wildlife.
- Recycle Whenever Possible–Recycling reduces the need for landfills, saves trees and reduces pollution.
- Install Energy Efficient Lightbulbs–Some bulbs have the capacity to reduce energy consumption up to 75%, saving about $6 a year per bulb, depending on your energy costs. Though it seems somewhat insignificant, consider it a lifestyle change that’s part of a collective effort; to save energy costs and prevent 10 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which is equivalent to those from about one million cars.
- Use Less Paper and Pay Bills Online– Decreasing the demand for paper will result in less clutter/waste.
- Ditch Those Water Bottles—Millions of plastic water bottles wind up in the ocean affecting its inhabitants. Even worse, these bottles can take several years to decompose.
For more information about the California Department of Consumer Affairs, log on to www.dca.ca.gov.