Established in 1970 to celebrate Planet Earth on the 22nd of April each year.

To celebrate, here are a few exciting advances that have recently been made to help protect our environment:

Animals No Longer on the Endangered Species List:

  • West Indian Manatee
  • Louisiana Black Bear
  • Giant Panda

Ocean Protection:

  • Saltwater Brewery located in Delray Beach, Florida created the first ever edible six-pack rings to help combat the major issue of sea animals being harmed by ingesting the plastic six-pack rings that end up in the ocean. They are 100% biodegradable and compostable.
  • September 2016, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia worked together in a deal to protect the ocean wildlife near the Galapagos that includes 10,000 square miles.
  • 24 countries worked together in October 2016 to establish the Earth’s single largest protected area in a deal to protect Antarctica’s Ross Sea, which is home to a vast array of whales, seals, fish and penguins.

Renewable Energy Advances:

  • Advantages in technology have helped to decline the costs of wind and solar power
  • In the United States, 22GW of clean energy was added to the grid last year
  • For the third consecutive year, additions to the power grid came from renewable technologies
  • More states are expanding and extending their mandates for renewable electric generation.  New York, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. aim to reach 50% of each state’s total electricity generation with renewables (New York’s goal is by 2030).

Earth Day is a wonderful reminder of the efforts being made to save the planet, but also a reminder to recognize there is still much to be done!

Be sure to check out NEED’s FREE curriculum resources. Organized by topic, subject, and grade level and designed with state standards in mind.  Includes Energy Infobooks, a great resource containing fact sheets that introduce students to energy, and describe energy sources, electricity, consumption, and conservation.