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Taking Pride in Our Environment

Thursday, April 12, 2018

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Taking pride in how we treat the earth is an extension of taking pride in ourselves.

Earth Day is held on April 22nd each year. The idea for a national day focusing on the environment began with Gaylord Wilson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin who hoped to increase ecological awareness. The first Earth Day in 1970 had over 20 million people attend marches and festivals celebrating the environment and raising public awareness. It has expanded to include over 1 billion people in countries all over the world. This year's theme, "End Plastic Pollution," was selected because plastics are known to poison and injure marine life; litter our beaches and landscapes; and clog our waste streams and landfills.

Earth Day is more than just a celebration. It has led to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of important legislation like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Taking pride in ourselves and being environmentally conscientious is an important principle for our children to learn. Parents and teachers can begin by discussing children's prized possessions and the steps they take to care for them. Then expand it to their home, school, neighborhood, community and beyond. We all lead by example by remembering to conserve energy, recycling, not littering and not wasting water as examples.

There are activities separated into grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-5 in the "Don't Be That KID! At School Resource Guide" that focus on respecting ourselves and the environment. Have fun doing them with your children as they learn about the importance of conserving our earth!

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