April 22, 2001

Earth Day, event first observed internationally on April 22, 1970, to emphasize the necessity for the conservation of the world's natural resources. Starting as a student-led campus movement, initially observed on March 21, Earth Day has become a major educational and media event. Environmentalists use it as an occasion to sum up current environmental problems of the planet: the pollution of air, water, and soils; the destruction of habitats; the decimation of hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species; and the depletion of nonrenewable resources. The emphasis is on solutions that will slow and possibly reverse the negative effects of human activities. Such solutions include recycling of manufactured materials, fuel and energy conservation, banning the use of harmful chemicals, halting the destruction of major habitats such as rain forests, and protecting endangered species.
Source:
"Earth Day," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001
http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Do you want to see this happen? 

Do you want your children to miss this beautiful sight?

If we don't protect our environment NOW this is what will start to happen and the progression will be slow and we won't notice until suddenly we will have reached the point where it is to late!

 It starts with a few trees, then a few animals... and it progresses slowly, as these pictures depict.  Follow down and notice the slow changes. 

Look how lush and fruitful it begins. 

 

Look how barren it ends!

 

These pictures were created by me for this page to show what can happen.. with global warming, misuse of fossil fuels and  loss of vital habitats. 

An endangered species is any species of fish, animal, or plant that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Subspecies and distinct population segments of vertebrate species may also be listed. As of February 2000, there were 1,473 species classified as endangered, 955 of which occur in the United States.

A threatened species is any species of fish, animal, or plant that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future. As of February 2000, there were 307 threatened species, 267 of which occur in the United States.

A candidate species is one whose status warrants listing but whose listing is precluded by lack of administrative resources and/or funding. The Secretary of the Interior is required to publish "notices of review" that list the status of candidate species. A proposed species is one that is undergoing the listing process. As of October 1999, 258 species were considered candidates for listing under the ESA and 56 were considered proposed species.

Species are considered for listing when the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) receives notification of a species' status from one of the following sources: federal agency surveys; state agency studies; private company research; conservation organization data; academic research; private individual study; or a listing petition.

Species can be added to the list for any one of five reasons: 
(1)current or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of habitat or range; 
(2)overuse for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; 
(3)disease or predation; 
(4)ineffective regulatory mechanisms; 
(5)and other natural or man-made factors affecting survival.
Critical habitat is defined as the geographic area containing physical or biological features essential to the conservation of a listed species or as an area that may require special management considerations or protection.

 

Why are Forest Important?

Besides being a place to live for the animals, forests are a primary way that the Earth controls the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, so deforestation is also an important factor in global warming.

What exactly causes global warming?

Our consumption of fossil fuels causes over six billion tons of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide to accumulate in the Earth's atmosphere. These gases blanket the Earth, warming it. These gases wreak havoc on our climate, leading to extreme weather, habitat loss like shown above, and the spread of disease.

What happens as global warming occurs?

We can expect to see more "freak" weather conditions like cyclones, floods and droughts; potentially enormous loss of life; millions of people displaced from their homes in the worst-affected areas; greater risk from diseases like malaria as mosquitoes widen their reach; and threats to entire species as their habitat is wiped out.

It's such a large problem...  You ask, What can I do?

It's the "small" things that add up! 
Here are a few little things that would mean a lot in the long run.

(1) Start a Reuse Policy in your organization and home. Avoid using disposable products, such as paper towels, plastic cutlery, and foam cups and plates. Instead, use products designed for durability and reuse, such as cloth napkins and towels, ceramic mugs and dishes, and steel cutlery.
(2)Start a Household Hazardous Waste Policy in your home and your workplace. Set up a system to properly dispose of Hazardous Waste, such as paint, oil, solvents, batteries, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It does not belong in the garbage and down the drain. Contact your local government to find out the location of your local hazardous waste depot. If your community doesn’t have one, lobby your local government to implement one.
(3)Lower your city’s temperature by planting native trees and by conserving existing trees. Speak out at community meetings involving new developments that may destroy natural areas. 

Another way to help is to think "Reuse" before "Recycle"!

(1) Use reusable containers to:
          - shop for products in bulk
          - pack lunches for school and work
          - pack foods for picnics, trips and outings
          - store bulk foods, spices and leftovers
          - freeze foods
(2) Use cloth napkins, tea towels and sponges instead of paper products
(3) Use jars, coffee tins, and plastic containers for storage of small tools or toys.
Reuse wrapping paper, ribbons, birthday candles and gift boxes. Make cloth gift bags from colorful scrap fabric.
(4)  Donate our unwanted furniture, appliances, sporting goods and clothes to charitable organizations like the Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul or Salvation Army. Donate books and magazines to hospitals, libraries, or senior citizens' homes.
(5) Connect our downspout to capture rainwater in a cistern or barrel, then use the water for lawns and gardens, washing the car, and other outdoor projects.
(6) Reuse our egg cartons, milk and juice cartons (cut off the top) to start seedlings.

 

Ok Ok, I hear the questions.  :o)

How can doing this help save the environment? What does this have to do with global warming and endangered species? Why not just recycle?

When you "reuse" an item or product, you preserve not only the materials that product is made from, but you also:


preserve all the energy and raw materials (natural resources) that went into making that item or product in the first place

preserve all the energy and raw materials (natural resources) that would be used to make a new or recycled replacement for that item or produce

reduce the waste and pollution created when resources are extracted from the earth and manufactured into products

prevent the waste and pollution that are caused by recycling or throwing the item or product into the garbage

save the money that would be spent to recycle, landfill or incinerate the item or product

save money at home and work

When You ReUse


fewer natural resources are needed to manufacture new or recycled raw materials and finished products. This means less mining, less drilling for oil and gas, less tree-cutting, less use of our fresh water supplies, less use of energy and chemicals – and less pollution

fewer items end up being thrown out or recycled, which means less need for fuel-burning trucks and machinery, and less pollution from landfills and incinerators
Every little bit helps. If you do a little bit and your neighbor does a little bit eventually we will be able to slow the process down. It has to start somewhere.. Why not with you? Or with me? Let's work together to save the environment for the future.

"The earth will continue to regenerate its life sources only as long as we and all the peoples of the world do our part to conserve its natural resources. It is a responsibility which every human being shares. Through voluntary action, each of us can join in building a productive land in harmony with nature."

President Gerald Ford
Proclaiming March 21st as Earth Day

 

 

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