“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”
~ Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day
First celebrated in the United States in 1970, Earth Day (known as International Mother Earth Day elsewhere) has expanded to 193 countries as a day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. During the Apollo 14 moon mission in 1971, astronaut Stuart Roosa brought with him hundreds of tree seeds including Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood, and Douglas Fir in order to investigate whether or not exposure to the microgravity of space would impact the growth of these seeds when returned to Earth. Even though post-mission, the seed container was compromised, most of the tree seeds were still fit for germination and were successfully planted and cultivated. These trees were planted around National Monuments, as well as in sites all over the world. After decades of growing side-by-side with their Earth cousins, the Moon Trees showed no differences at all. On Earth Day 2009, NASA, in partnership with the United States National Arboretum and American Forests, planted a second generation Moon Sycamore on the arboretum’s grounds in Washington, D.C. .🌎🌳
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
The first Earth Day celebrations took place in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform." It now is observed in 192 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, chaired by the first Earth Day 1970 organizer Denis Hayes, according to whom Earth Day is now "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year." Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action to change human behavior and provoke policy changes.
This tartan was designed on behalf of Charles Cockell, Professor of Astrobiology, Edinburgh University. Notes from the registry:
"Given the planetary-scale challenges of living successfully on the Earth without destroying it, this tartan represents the need for humans to preserve our Earth. Colours: blue represents Earth's oceans and sky; three green lines represent life on the third planet from the Sun and our efforts to successfully sustain it; white lines signify the planet's clouds; the brown line running through the middle green line represents the crust and the continents on which we dwell."
For more on the history of Earth Day, click the artist's conception of earth in our hands!