“I remember that day-I went on my own to the Earth Day March. It was in south Plainfield, New Jersey and there were hundreds of kids, high school age, running around with signs. Everyone had bell bottom jeans, long hair- it was the 1970s for cryin’ out loud.”
My dad, who is about to turn 60, has been doing his part to care for this Earth his whole life. His dedication and knowledge have definitely rubbed off on me, because I care very much about protecting this Earth as well. His story is very inspiring and I thought others would enjoy to read it too.
Continue to read a first-hand account of what it was like to march in the First Earth Day Celebration of New Jersey.
Where was this march? Plainfield, New Jersey.
How old were you? I was born in 56… so.. 14 years old?
How long was the march? “It was a 17 mile march throughout several cities to celebrate the first Earth Day.”
When was this March? It was 1970.
What were you wearing- Tie dye? “Hahaha no! I was wearing T-shirt and jeans. I remember it rained thoroughly. We got sopping wet!”
What was the experience like? “I went by myself and met up with a bunch of high school kids behind the YMCA. We started to march and we walked for what felt like forever. I remember my ankles being so sore by the time I got home. It was torrential rain during the march but some people were still carrying signs saying, “First earth day” or “Save the earth.” As soon as we were done with the march, there was nothing left of the signs because of the rain! The energy in the air was electric- It was the first Earth Day after all. You might be able to find a photo of me in a photo of the very first Earth Day!”
How did the experience affect you? “That first earth day was a seed for the whole environmental movement. It was an awakening that really opened our eyes and stuck a cord in our hearts. We must protect this earth, fight for clean water, and fight for clean energy. The whole movement snowballed from there and the government was moved to pass laws protecting the environment. It was the dawn of the environmental movement but now we still have to continue that legacy. We have a lot of work still left to do.”
What do you do for the environment now? “When you’re young and idealistic- you want to support those causes with everything you’ve got. Now we’re old and sour. Ha ha ha, just kidding. Now, we do everything we can to do our part! We recycle 80% of all the trash in our house, we compost, we save water, and turn off the lights to save electricity.We also drive small cars-not gas guzzlers.”
What would you say to someone who is wanting to do more for the environment?
“As you mature, you grow and learn your place in this world and how you impact it. It affects your whole lifestyle.
Nowadays, we have so many groups to join and so much information that we didn’t have back then. Now with the internet, the world of environmentalism is at your fingertips. It’s almost easier to do your part, to do what you can here and there.
You don’t have to become a mad-man tree-hugger, just become more aware of your place in this world and how you impact it. Once you understand that, see what you can do at your own pace. It’s all about better education.”
“Participating in the First Earth Day March and other Sustainable Festivals helped me become more and more aware of things we take for granted, like clean air and clean water. It’s nice to be reminded every year that the resources the earth has are finite.”
“As I’ve done for the past 3 years, my band, the JGrizz Band, and I are part of the Earth Day Celebration in Claremont, California. We try to raise awareness for all the governmental agencies and vendors who are participating in this sustainable living festival. At the festival, you’ll find products that help you conserve water, people that sell organic produce, and information on how to do your part. Its a lot of fun because you see all the different ideas people have in order to have a sustainable world. PLUS, you get to hear us ROCK OUT to Tequila Sunrise, Wagon Wheel, and even Stir It Up!”
I hope you enjoyed this story and learning about my Dad. Happy Earth Day everyone! What do you do to care for this earth? Any crazy, cool ideas we should be implementing?
Hope to see you at the Claremont Earth Day Celebration, SATURDAY from 10-2pm!!!
Spot you soon,
If you liked this story, please LIKE, SUBSCRIBE to my blog, and SHARE with your friends!
Follow me on Instagram/Twitter: @SpotTheRedHead to see more up-to-date travel info and behind-the-scenes photos.