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2020 Theme: Climate Action

This year, we celebrate a milestone on April 22 as we celebrate half a century recognizing Earth Day. But what does that mean? The day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. (See below for the history of the day.)

What can you do to contribute to Earth Day?

If you want to do your part this year for Earth Day, here are some ideas:

  • Bike more, drive less
  • Conserve water
  • Use non-toxic chemicals at home and the office
  • Recycle plastic, paper, and cardboard
  • Shop wisely—buy less plastic and take reusable shopping bags
  • Plant a tree
  • Volunteer for community cleanups
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs Bottom of Form

 

Tune into Earth Day Live on April 22:

https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-live/

 

Origins of Earth Day

Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging awareness of the state of our planet.

According to About Us, The History of Earth Day, Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962 set the stage for change, raising awareness between pollution and health.

The Idea for the First Earth Day

The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson (a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin), witnessed the results of an oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. At that same time, he was impressed by students protesting against the war. He thought if he could combine that same anti-war energy behind an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the political agenda.

Nelson, along with the help of Pete McCloskey (a Republican Congressman) and Denis Hayes (from Harvard), set the wheels in motion across the nation through the media and education.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated across the nation in rallies. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

 

Earth Day Goes Global

In 1990. Denis Hayes was approached by a group of environmental leaders to take the campaign across the globe. The result was 200 million people in 141 countries focusing on our planet.

For more information and source, go to: About Us, The History of Earth Day: https://www.earthday.org/history/

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Have you found yourself a little too close for comfort with your significant other during this self-isolation period? It might be easy to tell the children to go outside or give you quiet time, but it’s more challenging with your partner.

Like every healthy relationship, start with clear, consistent communication. If you haven’t already done so, sit down and establish parameters for cohabitating in a 24-hours-a-day environment. What are the expectations and needs? Discuss these upfront and honestly to avoid future conflicts.

Create a sense of structure or schedule together. Do you have a similar sleep schedule? Establish guidelines for meals, breaks, and entertainment. Going completely AWOL from your routine can result in sleep deprivation, depression, mood swings, and stress.

Block out alone time. No matter how much you love someone, you need time apart. Establish periods for you to do what relaxes you—go for a walk, read, meditate, or bake. Respect your partner’s space when it’s his/her turn.

Find creative ways to spend date night once a week. Take turns planning the evening. Dress up for a candlelight dinner, or have popcorn for a movie marathon. Surprise one another!
All of these suggestions come down to communicating with your partner. It’s not easy, but it does alleviate stress and confrontation if you talk and work together.

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Supplies

  • Construction paper or thin cardboard
  • Black marker
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Crayons

Directions

On a sturdy piece of paper (construction or even thin cardboard, like a cereal box cut flat), draw or trace a simple line drawing, such as flowers, boats on the ocean, or a landscape. Go over the lines with a thick black marker. Then, use Elmer’s glue to trace over the lines again. Allow to dry. When dry, use crayons to color the whole page, blending different colors as you go. This creates a nice, textured colored piece that is different than crayons alone.

Children's Art Project

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Give, and it shall be given unto you. One excellent way to feel better and take the focus off of negative circumstances is to direct your attention to others. Even with self-isolation and social distancing, there are selfless acts that can mean much to others.

Neighbors who live alone or are elderly may experience more anxiety or loneliness right now. Surprise a neighbor with a plate of cookies or flowers on the front doorstep.

Show your children the rewards of reaching out. Have them create cards and drawings and slip them in the neighbor’s mailbox or put them on the front porch.

Did you make extra soup this week? Create a care basket for the neighbor with a soup bowl, crackers, candy, and a card.

If you have to run for groceries or necessities, call a neighbor and see if you can pick anything up for him or her. Even if they don’t ask for anything, surprise them.

Any extra effort, such as watering the neighbor’s flowers, getting the mail, or a phone call, can brighten the day. Challenging times call for communication and connections. Your spirits will be lifted, too.

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We are in challenging times. But we have been gifted with Easter week—focus on the beauty it brings. Spring is a time of growth, rebirth, and RENEWAL. In Christianity, the Easter holiday represents the highest form of rebirth.

UNITY

Easter reminds us of being TOGETHER—family, friends, church congregations, co-workers. We celebrate the holiday through CONNECTIONS and RELATIONSHIPS. We are fortunate technology allows us to continue COMMUNICATING throughout the pandemic. Whether a virtual family call, viewing a religious service at home or finding an online egg hunt, we can still JOIN HEARTS. UNITY will get us through the challenges.

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We are in challenging times. But we have been gifted with Easter week—focus on the beauty it brings. Spring is a time of growth, rebirth, and RENEWAL. In Christianity, the Easter holiday represents the highest form of rebirth.

MIRACLES

MIRACLES come in all shapes and sizes. The Easter season is an extraordinary time. The environment around us takes on an abundance of freshness.  Small MIRACLES surround us. There’s the bluebird that survived the brutal winter, now nesting with babies. The Daffodils blooming bright yellow after the lawnmower ran over them last spring. And the job offer when things seemed desperate. Dormancy becomes new again—our daily reminder of MIRACLES.

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We are in challenging times. But we have been gifted with Easter week—focus on the beauty it brings. Spring is a time of growth, rebirth, and RENEWAL. In Christianity, the Easter holiday represents the highest form of rebirth.

GRATITUDE

Count your blessings—you’ve heard it before. Tough times should heighten our GRATEFULNESS. What are we appreciative of as we go through this uncertain period? We have extra time with family, the occasion to cook meals, additional hours for thinking, and planning. All of these are gifts. We are GRATEFUL for family and friends, food to eat, and for our abilities and minds. Maybe we’ve taken these things for granted. We’ve quickly been jolted back to what is of importance in our lives. Be GRATEFUL for another day to inhale these simplest of things.

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During these difficult times, this Easter week, we are focusing on the inspiration and encouragement the season brings.

FAMILY

Has your focus on FAMILY changed over the last month? Maybe it’s not just because we are isolated inside our homes together. In stressful or difficult times, we often turn to our FAMILY. They are our sounding boards and support systems. Now we have this time to mend, improve, or strengthen those relationships. We have been given this gift of quality time—a little sunshine behind the cloud. And we have several groups with whom to bond and grow: church FAMILY, work FAMILY, and our FAMILY of friends.

Behind every cloud there may be a silver lining. But the gold is in the FAMILY who helped you see through the cloud.

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During these difficult times, this Easter week, we are focusing on the inspiration and encouragement the season brings.

Resilience

We keep hearing the word RESILIENCE. It’s a strong word, but we don’t often step back to realize we illustrate RESILIENCE daily: raising our children, putting food on the table, and putting roofs over our heads. Spring reminds us of RESILIENCE from the cold winter to rebirth–fresh grass, blooming flowers, and budding trees. Shut down the technology for a bit and take in the newness of this season. RESILIENCE is within you and all around you.

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