Gaylord Nelson

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: April 22nd, Earth Day, is fast approaching. This year find new ways to celebrate Earth Day and incorporate your new green habits all year long.

The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, brought together millions of people from all walks of life who were concerned about the environment and they wanted our government to pay attention. The idea was the inspiration of a Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson.

“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

Read the full story of Earth Day at

Here are some things you can do to celebrate Earth Day this year:

  • Bring your used flip flops to Old Navy:

WHAT: Old Navy and TerraCycle Partner in “The Flip Flop Replay”

In an effort to further reduce waste, TerraCycle, Inc. and Old Navy are partnering in a month-long drive to collect used flip flops and recycle them into four public playgrounds around the country. The community is encouraged to participate by stopping by an Old Navy store to deposit used flip flops in designated collection bins. This is the first time a nationwide retailer has initiated a large-scale effort to collect and recycle flip flops.

WHEN: April 22, 2011 (Earth Day) through May 21, 2011

WHERE: All Old Navy stores across the U.S.

ABOUT TERRACYCLE: TerraCycle, Inc. is an international upcycling company that takes difficult to recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, eco-friendly products. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. TerraCycle works to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s Brigade programs, which are free fundraisers that pay schools and non-profits for every piece of waste they collect and return. For information on TerraCycle please visit

  • Bring your used writing instruments (regardless of brand) to Office Depot:

WHAT: Sanford Brands, Office Depot and TerraCycle, Inc. are offering customers a unique recycling opportunity during Earth Month. Customers can bring used writing instruments, regardless of brand, to any Office Depot store nationwide. In exchange for ten pens, pencils or markers, customers will receive a coupon toward a new Sanford product. The collected instruments will be sent to TerraCycle, the pioneering upcycling and recycling company, to be turned into new office-supply products ranging from trashcans to desk organizers.

WHEN: April 17th through April 23rd

WHERE: All Office Depot stores across the U.S.

  • Clean up around your neighborhood. As the snow melts (and hopefully we’ll stop getting new snow), you can see all the liter that was lurking underneath.
  • Start recycling. If your community doesn’t have a curbside recycling program, find your nearest recycling center. Here’s two to get you started:

WHAT: Recycle your old phonebooks by taking them to the special recycling drop off sites available now through May 6th. Only phone books with glued bindings will be accepted.

WHEN: Through May 6th

WHERE: The Fargo/Moorhead area

WHAT:Electronics Recycling Event

In an effort to keep lead and other toxics out of the landfill, the City of Fargo holds an annual electronics recycling collection for households and businesses each spring. They accept one computer and television per household at this event at no charge; businesses should contact for rates.

WHEN: The 2011 Electronics Recycling Event will be Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: Bring your items to the Solid Waste Facility at 2301 8th Ave. N. Call 701-241-1449 for details.

For more information, visit the

  • Take the bus.

WHAT: MATBUS celebrates Earth Week by inviting residents to Get Your “Can” on the Bus. Your bus ride is free when you donate one aluminum can.

WHEN: April 18th through April 23rd

WHERE: The Fargo/Moorhead area

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day []
Discover the story behind Earth Day and Gaylord Nelson, the visionary who began it all. This site is full of history and great information about the environment. You’ll also find wonderful quotes and great resources.

“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

“We declare that the proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it.” ~Barry Commoner, 1970

“The fault lies not in the science and technology as such but in the sense of values of the contemporary world which ignores the rights of others.” ~Indira Gandhi, 1972

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by Wendy Gabriel

I’m more than a little irritated by all the Earth Day consumerism going on. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day which was started as the first nationwide environmental protest. Peddling “green” and “eco” items at a reduced price during Earth Week is not the point of this day/week.

Meet the founder of Earth Day – Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson was a leading figure in the fight against environmental degradation and social injustice in the twentieth century.

As a Wisconsin senator, Nelson contributed to important liberal reforms but struggled for years to interest his colleagues in environmental protections. So he turned instead to the people, proposing April 22, 1970 as a day for Americans to speak out about the environmental crises they faced. Earth Day’s massive public support forced politicians to see the severity of the problems and the extent of public concern. The first Earth Day galvanized Congress into creating some of the most important U.S. environmental legislation. Gaylord Nelson earned environmentalism a lasting place in national politics.

An estimated 20 million Americans, young and old, gathered on April 22, 1970 to confront the ecological troubles in their cities, states, nation, and planet—and to demand action from themselves and from their elected officials.

Education was always at the heart of Gaylord Nelson’s work. He knew early on the success of environmental movement would depend not primarily on budgets or regulations, but on “a new awareness of the ecological bonds between man and his environment.”

In the years following the first Earth Day he strove to make its anniversary an annual celebration of ecological education in schools. Thousands of educators shared Nelson’s goal of bolstering environmental literacy. In 1970, the University of Wisconsin founded its Institute for Environmental Studies—today bearing Nelson’s name—and in 1985 the state legislature made Wisconsin the first state to require environmental education in its elementary and high schools.

Source: Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

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