Tag Archives: environment

How to Celebrate World Water Day

World Water Day

Not many traditional holidays or observances are centered around non-people or events, but as we head into the twenty-first century, people around the world are becoming increasingly aware of our environment and what it means to the preservation of life as we know it on planet Earth. Water is a vital element for life, any kind of life, and it seems natural that today’s generation recognize that water is a natural resource that may disappear if we don’t take steps to safeguard ecosystems around the world.

World Water Day was initiated in 1992 as an effort that came form the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Gathering together to discuss environmental concerns of the world, leaders and representatives from dozens of nations around the world collected together to discuss ongoing problems and possible solutions to the growing concerns of global overpopulation, limited resources and the amounts of dwindling supplies of water, land and forests within our biosphere.

Since that first meeting in 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has officially designated March 22nd of every year as World Water Day, a day that all races and nationalities come together as human beings to discuss fresh water and sanitation needs of developing countries as well as resources to protect natural fresh water reservoirs and sources throughout the world.

Many people take water for granted, especially in the more developed nations like the United States of America. We know that when we turn the faucet of our sinks, fresh, clean water will come out. We jump and splash in swimming pools and elaborate water fountains grace not only private residences but also many city buildings and office complexes. We have brilliant, green lawns and landscaping in even the harshest environments, and one only has to visit Las Vegas, Nevada, to fully appreciate the amount of water that’s necessary to keep such an arid location so green all year round. It’s unfortunate that many people no longer appreciate and respect our water sources, but World Water Day attempts to change all that.

World Water Day is a day for all Americans, no matter whether we live in the desert or in Washington State, to respect and protect our water resources to the utmost of our ability. It’s projected that droughts will afflict not only our nation but those around the world due to the effects of global warming, and it’s up to every American to do their part in saving such a precious and natural resource.

Around the country, schools are now teaching children how to conserve water and other resources such as forests, land and animal life, and the day is celebrated with lessons in schools and community meetings that address local issues and problems, not only in the United States, but around the world. Water conservation is a world issue, and is not limited to any demographic area, race, or culture. World Water Day is a day in which we can all stop to think about how precious water is in our daily lives, and reminds us that we should not take any of it for granted.

Children are being taught to do their part in learning about water conservation, and protecting our environment. They learn that 80% of the human body is made up of water, and that two-thirds of the planet is covered by water. Most of all, children, the future of America, are learning how to prevent the continued destruction of both national and global resources, and it will be up to them to protect not only American lands and waters, but Mother Earth as well.

History of Earth Day

President Kennedy’s five day national conservation tour in 1963 sowed the seeds for the eventual establishment of Earth Day.  The idea, an effort to bring national political attention to the care and importance of our environment, derived from Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962.

Nelson believed that if the President would participate in conservation efforts, the support of the country would follow.  While he was not completely incorrect, there was not an immediate adoption of a day to honor the environment.

Several years after Kennedy’s eleven state tour, Nelson closely watched the anti-Vietnam War protests throughout the country and realized that if the same amount of energy could be harnessed in support of the environment – politicians could no longer ignore the pressing issue of declining environmental condition.  The inspiration that he received from watching the “teach-ins” taking place on college campuses throughout most of the country provided inspiration for a way to gain national political support for the environment. He used his own influence to establish a national protest in favor of the environment to be held during the early part of 1970.

Nelson’s public and national announcement of this demonstration excited the American public, who for the months leading up to the protest sent letters and donations of support to the Senator and his organization to begin Earth Day recognition efforts.  Perhaps the country was relieved to see reason for positive protesting in light of the horrors of the Vietnam War, or perhaps they because afraid when national media attention became directed at the mistreatment and decline of the environment – but regardless of why it happened – the Senator gained huge support.

Nelson remarks today that Earth Day really did organize itself. Although he took the time and patience to get the idea moving – he never expected the 20 million people who turned up nationally in support of environmental protection in the United States.

It is notable to remark that during the same year of 1970 that Earth Day was first celebrated, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed by President Richard Nixon. Beginning that year, and continuing through present day, the national government has taken a vested interest in protecting the environment from harmful pollution in order to preserve the Earth we have now for generations to come.

Gaylord Nelson continued his devotion for the environment through the next decade as a US Senator, and in honor of his contributions to environmental protection and towards the improvement of our future he was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. In addition to establishing Earth Day, Nelson provided many other types of support for environmental causes which encompassed a span of several decades. Nelson was also the recipient of the EPA Only One Award and the Ansel Adams Conservation Award.

Earth Day continues to evolve, seemingly on its own merit and with little in the way of structured organizations. Most college campuses and cities within the US recognize the importance of celebrating and preserving nature as it was intended in order to guarantee a safe and healthy future for generations to come.

Each year, Earth Day is dedicated to a specific item of interest in addition to the environment in general.  In 2006 the topic of interest was affecting climate change and reducing global warming.  The three year campaign to get attention and action directed towards these topics will hopefully result in a renewed commitment to the environment throughout the world.