Sunday, April 22, 2007

Today is Earth Day!

Celebrate & Accelerate
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush
More Photos

Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet.

Environmental Highlights

On the anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, the federal government is cleaning the air, promoting land conservation, and improving water quality.

The Bush Administration is focused on achieving meaningful results – cleaner air and water, and healthier lands and wildlife habitats.

  • The nation's air is much cleaner today than it was in 1970 and progress will continue.
  • The trend of annual loss of wetlands has been reversed.
  • Restoration and redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites is accelerating.
  • President Bush is meeting his commitment to reduce the National Park Service maintenance backlog.

Learn more ...

Take Action on Your Own ...

At Home
Save energy
Use less water
More ...

In Your Classroom
For teachers and students
Learn about issues
Try some games
Do activities
More ...

While At Work
Commute smart
Use green buildings
Reduce energy use
More ...

... Or In Your Community
Find ways to volunteer with government at all levels.

Forest Service Volunteer
Volunteers are the heartbeat of the USDA Forest Service. Your talents and skills are matched with your work preference to satisfy you and fulfill the mission of the Forest Service.

Earth Team Volunteers
The Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service needs people 14 and older to help reduce soil loss, protect water supplies, and more.

Take Pride in America
Help maintain our natural, cultural and historic resources on public lands.

More volunteer opportunities


Earth Day

The original Earth Day, on the March equinox
Earth Day 2007
MARCH 20, 2007 at 8:07 PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
or 12:07 UTC March 21 (Greenwich, England)

This Earth Day 2007, March 20, John McConnell and his wife Anna have been invited
to be guests of honor in
Laguna Beach, California
as the City of Laguna Beach celebrates Earth Day.
For details contact Charles Michael Murray in Laguna Beach, via (see below).
Please attend to meet John and Anna.


By John McConnell

Four billion years ago
Our lonely Earth
Set sail on cosmic seas
Guided by an unseen hand
Of nature, God or chance.

As life evolved
Through endles eco-cycles
Man was born, destined
To destroy or enrich
the Precious Ship.

And now his hand
Has seized the tiller
But his ear has not
Yet caught the Captain's
Quiet command.

The sails are down, the ship becalmed,
Its fragil life at stake.
No longer do we ride the gentle swells of
Silent seas and breathe
The fragrant air.

Broken are the rhythms
Of our cyclic plants
And other living things.

But now the Captain speaks again
Our quiet thoughts at last reveal his voice.

"Hoist the sails, Earth Man.
Set them for celestial winds.
Hold the tiler firm,
The course ahead is clear."

Be He nature, God or chance
His voice is heard
And we shall heed
The Captain's quiet command.

– Important Perennial Message from John McConnell –
We urge world leaders to speak out for a Global Minute for Peace. Efforts by world leaders to speak out for this annual event could result in new hope and a new beginning for the whole human family. The date of December 22 can be designated Global Minute for Peace Day, and celebrated worldwide every year.

"Minute for Peace -- December 22, 2007
Provides the Way to Global Peace"

*** *** ***

"Earth Day Lighthouse 2006"
*** *** ***

"Star of Wonder"
*** *** ***

"Minute for Peace," December 22, 2007

On December 22, just three days before Christmas, 1963, the first "Minute for Peace" was broadcast on radio and TV stations. This came one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Wire services featured the "Minute for Peace" in news stories that went around the world. The broadcast included the voice of President Kennedy addressing the United Nations with an urgent plea for peace, and asked each listener to dedicate his thoughts and action to peace.

On June 26, 1965, the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter, a "Minute for Peace" message featuring UN Secretary General U Thant was broadcast on all major U.S. radio networks, by United Nations radio, by networks in other countries, and by international short wave radio.

Since then, all over the globe, we who have pledged ourselves as Earth Trustees have taken a minute each December 22 to meditate and pray for peace. Again this year we ask you to join us in this effort to help bring peace.

Can a "Minute for Peace" become a minute of goodwill observed in unison around the world? Will it irresistibly move the leaders of men into paths of peace? Will the hearts and minds of people in all countries be touched by the Holy Spirit with the peace and love that bring men into the Kingdom of God? What has happened so far seemed utterly impossible at first. Who knows what may happen if we put our faith to work and use the power of the Spirit to solve the problem of the sword?

On December 22, 2007, join with Earth Trustees all over the world in dedicating your hearts during a "Minute for Peace." Let every radio and TV station fill the day with minutes of music and words that inspire peaceful actions. Help us unite as one human family in new understanding and care for this wonderful nest in the stars: Planet Earth, our home.

Let us know your plans for "Minute for Peace Day" so that we may publicize them here.

St. Francis and Earth Day
Next Life and This Life
Reflection on the Meaning of Life
Magic Bullet
POPE - Peace on Planet Earth

Happy Birthday to the Founder of Earth Day!!
John McConnell -- 92 years young!!
born March 22, 1915
On March 22, 2007, John McConnell celebrated his 92st birthday!
Happy Birthday, John McConnell!!
Please wish him a "Happy Birthday" by sending him an email.

Click here to send a Happy Birthday email to John McConnell.

Earth's Resurrection

· New List -- Websites and groups honoring the equinox
Earth Day, March 20-21 ·

People who have registered as Earth Trustees (updated for October, 2005).

- Cities proclaiming March 20 as Earth Day -
Laguna Beach CA 2007, San Francisco 2007, Berkeley, and Denver
See Below

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco,
proclaimed March 20, 2007 as
Earth Day.

Elizabeth Pearson-Schneider, MAYOR of the City of Laguna Beach, California,
proclaimed March 20, 2006 as
Earth Day
officially recognizing
"John McConnell's vision for the protection of planet earth."
Laguna Beach again proclaimed Earth Day on March 20 in 2007.

John W. Hickenlooper, MAYOR of the City and County of Denver, Colorado,,
proclaimed March 20, 2005 as
"Denver's Earth Day"
officially recognizing
"the first day of spring as Global EARTH DAY
and Mr. McConnell for his many contributions."

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco,
proclaimed March 21, 2006 as
"International Earth Day in San Francisco"
honoring the first Earth Day on March 21, 1970
and the first Earth Day Proclamation
issued in 1970 by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto,
"in our tradition to honor peace,
justice, and care of our Earth."

Tom Bates, Mayor of the City of Berkeley,
proclaimed March 20, 2005 as
"International Earth Day in Berkeley"
in honor of nature's true "Earth Day,"
an "occasion of global communion,"
with the "joyous worldwide ringing of bells
for universal peace and understanding,
environmental protection, and human community."

Earth Trustee Newsletter
Fourth Issue: #1-4 August 15, 2004

Global Minute for Peace Day

Third Issue: #1-3 May 6, 2004
Second Issue: #1-2 Feb 22, 2004
First Issue: #1-1 Feb 1, 2004

**Proposal for EARTH HOUR!--
a Weekly TV Program**

** Stories of Earth Trustees **

Reagan and Carter
President Bush and Jesus

Our Cosmic Quest

Sowing the Seed - 1911

Archival Collection of John McConnell's Papers and Documents, Swarthmore Library

about attending the Annual International Earth Day at the United Nations is found at

How to Celebrate Earth Day

News Note: Mr. and Mrs. McConnell attended the Peace Bell ceremony at the United Nations
in New York City on March 20 (1:49 a.m. EST), 2004.
Mr. McConnell delivered his annual Earth Day message as the chief speaker.

Earth Day is on the March Spring Equinox,
Nature's day all over the world.

Earth Day 2007 will occur MARCH 20, 2007 at 8:07 PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
or 12:07 UTC (Greenwich, England).

Global Peace Blitz

The purpose of this Earth Site is to get attention for the Earth Day Idea --
the idea that can do the most for people and planet:

All individuals and institutions have a mutual responsibility to act as Trustees of Earth, seeking the choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, foster peaceful progress, awaken the wonder of life, and realize the best potential for the future of the human adventure.

"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

"EARTH DAY uses one of humanity’s great discoveries, the discovery of anniversaries by which, throughout time, human beings have kept their sorrows and their joys, their victories, their revelations and their obligations alive, for re-celebration and re-dedication another year, another decade, another century, another eon. EARTH DAY reminds the people of the world of the need for continuing care which is vital to Earth’s safety. …EARTH DAY draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way; using the vernal equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length in all parts of theEarth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible.

"The vernal equinox calls on all mankind to recognize and respect Earth’s beautiful systems of balance, between the presence of animals on land, the fish in the sea, birds in the air, mankind, water, air, and land. Most importantly there must always be awareness of the actions by people that can disturb this precious balance."

Margaret Mead
Read Margaret Mead's 1977 Earth Day Statement

What on Earth Are You Doing for Earth Day?

Whether you're looking to celebrate Earth Day in a BIG way or in a small way, the Internet is full of Earth Day activity suggestions. Hold an Earth Day Fair. Start a school recycling program. Or get your students involved in one of the terrific online projects that promote environmental awareness and conservation; you can read about a handful of those projects in this week's Education World CURRICULUM story, Internet Projects to Celebrate Earth Day!

Looking for "smaller" activities to celebrate Earth Day across the curriculum? You've come to the right place! Scan down this list of simple activities that extend the Earth Day theme into all areas of the curriculum.


Hands-on science. The only things that students will need to make a simple thermometer are water, a clear plastic bottle (e.g., an 11-ounce water bottle), food coloring, a clear plastic drinking straw, a clump of modeling clay, and rubbing alcohol. Follow the simple Make a Thermometer directions on the California Energy Commission's Science Projects page.

Make an "Earth Day Joke Book." Students can choose their favorite nature riddle to make an "Earth Day Joke Book." Each right-hand page has a riddle question in large letters. The flip side of the page has the answer and an illustration that gets at the silliness of the riddle. (The "Reader Riddles" page in each issue of Ranger Rick magazine is a good source for riddles. Other sources include Nature Riddles and Animal Riddles. Be sure to check beforehand to ensure that all the riddles are age-appropriate.)

Organizing information. Invite students to fold a sheet of paper into four equal squares. Label each square with one of the headings: Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedroom, and Laundry. In each square, students should write two energy-saving tips related to that room. They can use the clickable picture on the E-Patrol Energy Savers Web page as their resource.

Group discussion. Be sure to let your students visit the EPA's Recycle City Web site. Then divide students into small discussion groups. Invite each group to brainstorm a list of three ways that each of the following items can be reused, instead of throwing them away. (They can use the whole thing or only part of it.)

  • Cardboard box
  • Plastic milk carton
  • Glass jar
  • Wooden board
  • Plastic bag
  • Newspaper
Allow enough time for students to have a good discussion. Then pull the groups back together so they can share with each other their best ideas.

Be sure to check out some of the other Recycle City Activity Ideas.

Consumer testing/graphing. Students will need three or four identical flashlights to complete the Battery Life science experiment/consumer test from the California Energy Commission's Science Projects page. Use a different brand of batteries (e.g., Duracell, Energizer, Eveready, and Rayovac) to power each flashlight. Students should leave the flashlights on during the school day and monitor the length of time each flashlight stays lit before the batteries "die." Students should round the life of each battery brand off to the nearest hour and create a graph to show the life of each battery brand. (Note: This experiment could take days.)

Sequencing. Students can draw a step-by-step diagram to show the ten steps involved in planting a tree. The information students will need to draw their diagrams can be found on the How to Plant a Tree! pages of the Kids F.A.C.E. (Kids for a Clean Environment) Web site. Students might work in teams of 2, 5, or 10 to complete this project. They might bind their pages into book form and present other classes in the school with "How to Plant a Tree" books.

Hands-on science. Students can make their own "acid testing solution" from red cabbage using the step-by-step procedure on the Beakman's World Web site. Students can test rainwater, lemon juice, soap, and other solutions for acidity. (Less acidic solutions will turn the red cabbage solution to blue or green.)

Art. Each class in the school should select an Earth-friendly slogan for Earth Day and create a colorful slogan banner on recycled computer printout paper (the perforated variety) or on craft paper. Classes can display their banners outside their classrooms on Earth Day and teachers can take their classes on a banner tour.

ABC order. Invite students to put the list of environment terms found in the word search puzzle (in the previous activity) into ABC order. Teachers of older students might use a longer list, which students might help to brainstorm. Extend the activity by having students use the terms to create an "Earth Day Dictionary." Words from the word search puzzle: recycle, compost, garbage, litter, reuse, cleanup, environment, pollution, waste, landfill, reduce.

Science/art. Students can learn how paper is recycled by following the step-by-step procedures of the You Can Make Paper activity on the Beakman's World Web site. Once the paper is dried students can paint Earth Day messages on their recycled paper.

More art. Invite students to design their own bumper stickers with Earth Day themes.

More reading comprehension. (Grade 3 and up. Younger students might work in pairs.) Invite students to learn all about the cheetah on the Cheetah Spot Web page. There, students will read about the cheetah's appearance, speed, food, social habits, history, and the danger of its extinction. Teachers can print out a copy of the true/false questions on the student work sheet.
(Answer Key: 1. T, 2. T, 3. F, 4. F, 5. F, 6. T, 7. T, 8. F, 9. T, 10. F.)

Graphing animal speeds. On the Cheetah Spot Web page, students learn that the cheetah is the fastest animal on Earth. It can run at speeds up to 71 miles per hour. Have students create a graph that shows the top speed of the cheetah and of five other animals from the list below.

lion50 mphcoyote43 mphzebra40 mph
hyena40 mphgreyhound40 mphreindeer32 mph
giraffe32 mphgrizzly bear30 mphcat30 mph
human28 mphelephant25 mphwild turkey15 mph
squirrel12 mphpig12 mphtortoise0 mph

More ABC order. Use the Litter Detectives lesson plan from the Litter Prevention home page. Make a list of the different kinds of litter that students collected. Then invite students to put the list in alphabetical order.

Classifying, graphing, and comparing/contrasting. Make a checklist with ten columns. Head each column with a "type of trash." (See the chart below for column headings.) Then count the number of litter items students collected (in the activity above) in each category. Graph the results to show which categories accounted for the most waste. Compare your results to the figures in the chart below, which represent nationwide waste composition.

MetalXXXXXXXXXXXX 12 percent
Yard wasteXXXXXXXXXX 10 percent
Rubber/LeatherXXXXXX 6 percent
TextilesXXXXX 5 percent
MiscellaneousXXXX 4 percent
WoodXXXX 4 percent
Food wasteXXX 3 percent
GlassXX 2 percent

Language arts. Invite students to write poems about trash or litter on small brown lunch bags. Then they can use the bags to collect trash in the schoolyard or in a local park.

100 Facts About Earth. Challenge students to list 100 facts about Earth that they learned in the Earth Day Challenge. Students might work in groups and bring together their group lists to form a larger class list. (Adjust the number of facts for your grade level.)

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