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Earth Day 2014

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Every year on 22 April, ‘Earth Day’ is celebrated.

Designed to increase awareness of environmental concerns and challenges, the first event was held in 1970 when a student led campus movement morphed into 20 million people across the USA engaging in peaceful demonstrations, speeches and environmental cleans.

The largest non-religous holiday in the world, subsequent Earth Days have achieved many feats. The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 and a Clean Air Act was passed in the same year. Later acts include the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. On the Twentieth anniversary in 1990, the Nature Conservancy pledged to protect 28733 hectares (71000 acres) of land in 50 US states and in France a 804km (500mi) human chain was made to honour cleaner rivers.

Originating in the USA and Canada, demonstrations and events are now held worldwide. Many more of these acts and protests can be found on http://www.earthday.org/ and various similar websites.

This year’s Earth Day concentrates on ‘green cities’. Using the three tag lines of ‘Learn-act-impact’, 2014 will provide education on how cities can be more energy efficient by using renewable energy sources and constructing and modifying buildings to make them reduce waste and conserve resources. The cities of the future should be walking and bicycle friendly with clean public transport methods.

Even an ‘Earth Day Anthem’ has been written to sing on the day:

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world.

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A speech at the first Earth Day in 1970.

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The logo for the Mount Everest International Peace Climb on Earth Day 1990.

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Demonstrations in San Diego on Earth Day 2007