Earth Day, the annual holiday dedicated to environmental awareness and education, will celebrate its 44th anniversary this year on April 22.
The celebration began in the United States and later spread worldwide with various countries marking the occasion by participating in “green” activities that focus on protecting the environment. Earth Day began in 1970 as a “national teach-in on the environment” to spread environmental education on university campuses.
United States Senator Gaylord Nelson helped make the holiday possible when he announced the idea at a conference in Seattle, Wash., in 1969.
“The response was electric,” Nelson wrote in a post for New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation. “It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air -- and they did so with spectacular exuberance.”
In 2009, the day was renamed officially by the UN as International Mother Earth Day. Today, more than one billion people in 190 nations celebrate the holiday.
For those celebrating Earth Day, here are 25 quotes to share for the environmental holiday.
“Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.” -- Barry Commoner
“If we are ever to halt climate change and conserve land, water and other resources, not to mention reduce animal suffering, we must celebrate Earth Day every day -- at every meal.” -- Ingrid Newkirk
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” -- Native American Proverb
“On Earth Day, we celebrate all the gifts the world and nature make available to us. We recognize our complete dependence on its bounty. And we acknowledge the need for good stewardship to preserve its fruits for future generations.” -- John Hoeven
“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.” -- Thomas Fuller
“The earth is what we all have in common.” -- Wendell Berry
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” -- Albert Einstein
“The good man is the friend of all living things.” -- Mahatma Gandhi
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” -- Khalil Gibran
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” -- Aristotle
“The earth has music for those who listen.” -- George Santayana
“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” -- John Keats
“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” -- Marshall McLuhan
“You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.” -- Hal Borland
“To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” -- William Blake
"Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures."-- Gaylord Nelson
“After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world.” -- Pam Shaw
“Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” -- Mark Twain
“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” -- e. e. cummings
“There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all.” -- Robert Orben
“For 200 years we've been conquering Nature. Now we're beating it to death.” -- Tom McMillan
“I'm not an environmentalist. I'm an Earth warrior.” -- Darryl Cherney
“The global environment crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain, and I cannot stand the thought of leaving my children with a degraded Earth and a diminished future.” -- Al Gore
“Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand still and does not maintain the kind of equilibrium that guarantees the survival of any particular species -- least of all the survival of her greatest and most fragile product: man.” -- Ayn Rand
“A world without huge regions of total wilderness would be a cage; a world without lions and tigers and vultures and snakes and elk and bison would be - will be -- a human zoo. A high-tech slum.” -- Edward Abbey