Happy Birthday Mother Earth!

History of Earth Day

Earth Day — April 22 — each year marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.earth-day-2009-sacramento-1

Among other things, 1970 in the United States brought with it the Kent State shootings, the advent of fiber optics, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Apollo 13, the Beatles’ last album, the death of Jimi Hendrix, the birth of Mariah Carey, and the meltdown of fuel rods in the Savannah River nuclear plant near Aiken, South Carolina — an incident not acknowledged for 18 years.

Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, proposed the first nationwide environmental protest “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda. ” “It was a gamble,” he recalls, “but it worked.”It was into such a world that the very first Earth Day was born.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Environment was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.

Earth Day 1970 turned that all around.

On April 22, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day Recipes!

Mango and Roasted Cashew Salad

his rich spring recipe combines sweet, flavorful mango and its relative, the crunchy cashew. Combined with wine, ginger and maple crystals, the pair makes a light fruit salad that’s perfect for an Earth Day meal or an anytime side dish.


  • 1/2 cup organic sweet white wine, such as a Riesling
  • 1/4 cup maple crystals, or light brown sugar
  • 1 large mango, cut into medium-size cubes (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 cup oven-roasted cashews (see Tip)
  • Garnish: 8 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Cooking Instructions

  1. Pour wine into medium bowl. Add maple crystals, and stir until completely dissolved.
    Add mango cubes and grated ginger. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours to let the flavors mingle.
  2. Drain off excess liquid; return to bowl. Add cashews and mix well. Garnish with fresh mint.


Other tropical fruits such as pineapples and papayas are good alternatives to the fresh mango in this recipe.

Tips & Tricks

To make the oven-roasted cashews: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread raw cashews on a baking sheet and toast in oven about 5-8 minutes, until cashews turn a light golden brown.


Artichoke Risotto with Garlic and Sage

This creamy rice dish is a spring twist on a classic Italian risotto. Artichoke hearts, sage, and wine combine with parmesan cheese for a main dish or side dish that’s perfect for an Earth Day get-together or a family meal.


  • 4 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts (about 4 ounces), drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Cooking Instructions

  1. Warm vegetable stock over low heat; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-low; add shallots, onion and garlic. Sweat vegetables until shallots and onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice, stir and coat well; cook about 1 minute.
  3. Add artichokes, sage, white wine, salt and pepper; cook over medium-low heat until wine is absorbed, about 1 minute.
  4. Start to add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until rice absorbs all of the liquid (about 15 minutes per cup). Rice should get creamier in texture as stock is added.
  5. When all stock has been added and absorbed, remove rice from heat and mix in cheese. Serve hot.


Dirt Cake I


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • Dirt Cake I Recipe1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 32 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling


  1. Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.
  2. Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.
  3. In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.
  4. Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.
  5. Layer in flower pot, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.
  7. Add artificial flower and trowel. Enjoy!


Top Earth Day Movies! Many of these Movies are Great For Kids!

Top Earth Day Movies

You can’t save the world by watching movies, but you can get motivated to do some good for Mother Earth by checking out these nature-loving classics.


After mankind has used up all of the Earth’s resources and abandoned it for a new,wall-e-and-evelazier frontier in space, it is up to Wall-E, a garbage collecting robot, to convince the human race to return and re-cultivate.

MPAA Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hr. 38 mins.

Details: Directed by Andrew Stanton and written by Andrew Stanton, Pete Doctor and Jim Reardon, this movie features the voices of Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin and, the most interesting voice actor, MacInTalk. Was released in theaters June 23, 2008; on DVD November 18, 2008.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: The stout little space dwellers become so in love with the blue planet, it will make you want to get active and keep the Earth clean just for them.


Loosely based on the Little MermaidPonyo is the story of the daughter of a sea goddess and a powerful alchemist who begins her life as a fish-girl.

When she is found washed ashore by Sosuke, a five-year old boy who lives by the ocean, they form an unbreakable bond that takes them through a spectacular adventure.

MPAA Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hr. 43 mins.

Details: Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this movie features the voices of Noah Cyrus, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson and, Tiny Fey. Was released on DVD March 2, 2010.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: This movie reminds adults and children alike that nature and all Earth’s creatures should be valued and respected. It uses a wonderfully imaginative story to explain the balance needed to maintain the natural world.

Erin Brockovich

The true life rags to riches story of unemployed, single mother named Erin Brockovich who happens upon a job at a law firm.

Having a big heart that no stereotypical lawyer would have, Erin discovers a company is illegally dumping toxic waste and contaminating nearby residents leading her firm into a multi-billion dollar lawsuit.

MPAA Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hrs. 10 mins.

Details: Directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant, this movie stars Julia Roberts, David Brisbin, Dawn Didawick and Albert Finney. Was released in theaters March 14, 2000; on DVD Aug. 15, 2000.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: Erin teaches us that not having fancy clothes doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference in the world. NOTE:This film is rated “R” and not recommended for kids under 18.

Free Willy

Doing time at a marina for vandalism, a young boy befriends an orca whale through the tank’s glass. After uncovering the plot of the marina owner to “dispose” of the orca for poor performance in front of an audience, the youngster decides to take it upon himself to “free Willy.”

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild language

Runtime: 1 hr. 52 mins.

Details: Directed Simon Wincer and written Keith Walker, this movie stars Jason James Richter and Keiko the Orca Whale. Was released in theaters July 16, 1993; on DVD Nov. 7, 2006.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: At the iconic moment when Willy jumps over a triumphant Jessie with his hand in the air, you’ll long to create your own nature-saving memories

The Day After Tomorrow

Global warming has caught up with the Earth in this catastrophic sci-fi thriller. It is up to climatologist Jack Hall to save his son Sam, and the world, from the new Ice Age.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense situations of peril.

Runtime: 2 hrs. 4 mins.

Details: Written and Directed by Roland Emmerich, this movie stars Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal. Runtime is 124 minutes; released in theaters May 28, 2004; released on DVD Oct. 12, 2004.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: Although a complete world disaster scenario is unlikely for the immediate future, the over-the-top special effects bring to light some of the serious issues and implications associated with global warming that could affect our descendants.

March of the Penguins

This documentary follows the perilous trips made by arctic penguins in the dead of winter from their protected breeding grounds to their feeding grounds tens of miles away.

MPAA Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hr. 25 mins.

Details: Directed by Luc Jacquet and written by Jordan Roberts, this movie is narrated by Morgan Freedman. Was released in theaters July 22, 2005; on DVDNov. 29, 2005.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: Though they can’t speak, these wonderful penguins seem almost human in their devotion to tradition, their children, and each other. They are also incredibly brave in the face of the harsh conditions that Mother Nature forces upon them, which some feel have been aggravated by global climate change.

Ant Bully

When 10-year-old Lucas Nickle attacks an ant colony, he is shrunk down to their size and sees just how hard it is to be an ant.

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor and action

Runtime: 1 hr. 28 mins.

Details: Directed and written by John A. Davis, this movie features the voices of Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. Was released in theaters July 28, 2006; on DVD November 28, 2006.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: Because it helps us to appreciate creatures both big and small while also teaching some valuable lessons about friendship, courage, and “ant”i-bullying.

An Inconvenient Truth

This documentary film follows Al Gore’s campaign to educate the world about the effects of global warming and inspire change.

MPAA Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hr. 40 mins.

Details: Directed by Davis Guggenheim, this documentary follows Al Gore and is narrated by the voice of Billy West. Was released in theaters May 24, 2006; on DVD Nov. 21, 2007.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: We are shown compelling scientific data about the possible consequences of global warming—bringing up important questions for you and your family to discuss.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest

The fairies of FernGully, a beautiful and enchanted rainforest, are in mortal danger when human loggers come, cut lumber, and release the oil monster Hexxus from his tree imprisonment. When the fairy Christa accidentally shrinks Zak, a human logger, they, along with their friends Batty, Pips, and Beatle Boy, are the only ones who can save the forest.

MPAA Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hr. 16 mins.

Details: Directed by Bill Kroyer and written by Jim Cox and Diana Young, this features the voices of Robin Williams, Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis. Was released in theaters April 10,1992; on DV Oct. 18, 2005.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: The idea of a hidden fairy world and a bat that raps will make you think twice before not reusing that next brown paper bag.

Disneynature: Earth

This beautiful documentary follows the journey of three animal families over one year. We get a rare, intimate glimpse into the lives of polar bears, humpback whales, and elephants as they face adventure, hardship and victory.

MPAA Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hr. 30 mins.

Details: Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, this documentary is narrated by James Earl Jones. Was released on DVD Sept. 1, 2009.

Why It Will Make You Want To Plant A Tree: This shorter, family-friendly version of the epic BBC series Earth offers a breathtaking look into the beauty of the world’s creatures.

After seeing all the picturesque settings and habitats, you’ll want to do everything in your power to keep them untouched and thriving.


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