Since the beginning of humanity, someone has been fighting to conserve something. Whether that’s trees or hippopotamuses, there is always an organization holding rallies or conventions. Now that’s all well and important; everything deserves to have a voice fighting for it in this fast-paced, busy world. The same can be said for the environment itself. Earth Day is the one day a year, April 22, where millions of people from around the world gather to bring awareness to the environment and to hopefully influence legislation on the matter.
It all started in the 1960s when life seemed to be care-free, and everyone drove leaded-gas guzzling cars that released toxic smoke and sludge into the atmosphere without a second thought of the consequences (“The History”). With the “publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962”, environmental issues were moved into the spotlight (“The History”). Building upon the momentum caused by the release of the book, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, founded the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. On that historic day, more than 20 million Americans from across the country gathered in various locations to raise awareness on environment issues (“The History”). This coming together of people from all ethnicities, ages, social status’, and religions was an amazing feat and “led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts” (“The History”).
Every decade following the first Earth Day has been bigger and better than the last. “In 1990, Earth Day went global, [by] engaging 200 million people [from] 141 countries” (Doray para. 3). “Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day” with the global nature of the 1990 Earth Day (“The History”). Not wanting to lose impact, Earth Day 2010 faced some opposition coming in the form of cynicism versus activism. “The Earth Day Network helped to re-establish Earth Day as a relevant, powerful focal point” by bringing “250,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, [launching] . . . A Billion Acts of Green . . . that has since grown into The Canopy Project, and [engaging] 22,000 partners in 192 countries [who observe] Earth Day” (“The History”).
As anyone can see, Earth Day has grown in importance and impact since its founding in 1970. So what does God say about the environment and all that good stuff? What is the Christian Perspective of Earth Day? Well, in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Yes, as Christians, we are to work the ground. That is, use it to produce food and build civilizations. However, we are also called to keep it, protect it, sustain it. Earth Day is a great way to engage and act on God’s command to protect the earth. Whether that comes in the form of planting a tree or rallying together with others to help influence legislation, the options are endless on how to better God’s creation.
Written by Maddison
Doray, Andrea. “Giving Back to the Planet on Earth Day.” Arvada Press.com. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
“The History of Earth Day.” Earthday.org. Earth Day Network, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.