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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Celebrate spring and Earth Day

Earth Day brings together community and raises awareness.

As spring approaches, we should all take some time to enjoy the outdoors and make sure it stays clean. Today, cities around the country are recognizing the 38th annual Earth Day. In recognition, several organizations and local communities are offering activities ranging from community cleanups to educational workshops. It’s good to see communities around the city make a strong effort to come together and educate citizens about the environment.

Earth Day began in 1970 after Sen. Gaylord Nelson called for an educational sit-in on the deteriorating environment. Student unrest over the Vietnam War gave way to a growing number of those concerned with humans’ effect on the earth, and in its year of conception more than 20 million people participated in sit-ins and protests across the nation. The event has helped thrust environmental issues into national debate. In 1990, 200 million people in 141 nations demonstrated to raise awareness about recycling efforts, and the event helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In recent years, the focus of Earth Day has shifted from targeting policy makers to individuals.

Last Saturday, some 36 parks hosted cleanup activities, and last year 2,000 people removed more than 17,000 pounds of garbage around Minneapolis. Although this is a relatively small amount of garbage cleanup – only 2.5 percent of the total waste in Minneapolis – these community-building events will hopefully give people basic knowledge of how to recycle and tools to do their part in keeping the outdoors litter free.

The Bell Museum is also playing its part with a showcase of environmentally focused work for the Climate Change Film Festival. The event will feature a new documentary and fiction films, short videos, discussions and workshops highlighting the science and culture of our changing climate.

The intent of Earth Day is to bring awareness, but also to educate community members about how they as individuals are vital in keeping the environment healthy.

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