Earth Day Wisdom from Environmental OG Gaylord Nelson
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5 Inspiring Pieces of Earth Day Wisdom from Environmental OG Gaylord Nelson

April 17, 2017 by McKenna Dustman

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What do Yumbutter and Earth Day have in common, you ask? Well, beyond our focus on our responsibility to the environment, we both happen to hail from the great state of Wisconsin! If there’s one thing you should know about Wisconsinites, it’s that we are very proud of our roots. And in this case, we have great reason to be. (I might even be a little extra gung-ho because I was born on Earth Day.)

Earth Day was originally proposed in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was passionate about protecting our country’s national resources so that they could be enjoyed by generations to come. On the first Earth Day, he helped organize demonstrations around the country that drew more than 20 million people to protest issues like air pollution and water contamination. Those demonstrations were heard loud and clear, and later that year, Congress authorized the creation of the EPA. In 1995, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honor – for founding Earth Day.

Earth Day Today

Today, communities, organizations, and leaders around the world celebrate Earth Day by raising awareness of a multitude of environmental issues, educating the public on how they can make an impact in their own lives, and organizing events to take action in their own neighborhoods – ya know, planting trees, picking up trash, or walking / biking rather than driving.

Now, more than perhaps ever before, this day is important not just for the awareness it brings to such a critical subject, but also because of its history of being a catalyst for change. It reminds us that one person can bring about major change, and though the day itself is symbolic of a year-round effort, it is a moment to stop, reflect, and refocus on what we can be doing personally and together to protect our precious collective home. WE CAN BE A 2017 GAYLORD NELSON!

“How do we do that?” you ask. Here are 5 pieces of Earth Day wisdom to get you inspired, brought to you by environmental OG Gaylord Nelson.

Wisdom #1

The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.

Wisdom #2

The ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

Wisdom #3

There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more.

Wisdom #4

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.

Wisdom #5

The fate of the living planet is the most important issue facing mankind.

Was this guy ahead of his time or what?

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