Happy Earth Day! Today is a day of doing good things for the planet, which in turn is good for you and everyone else in the world. There are so many things you can do today to do your part, and you can get your friends and family involved to increase the impact. Read on to learn more about today, along with ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Earth Day came about in 1970 by the late U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, who created the day to raise people's awareness and appreciation for our home planet and all that it inhabits. For the first two decades, Earth Day was mainly a focus in just the United States, but in 1990, it went international by environmental activist Denis Hayes. He organized events for the day in 141 nations, and now Earth Day is celebrated  in more than 175 countries (in some countries for nearly a week), and is globally coordinated by Earth Day Network:

The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air ActClean Water ActEndangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

Earth Day Network encompasses the following traits and successes:

Helping schools, companies and households go green

  • Speaking out about and promoting green economic policies in all situations
  • Provides civic engagement opportunities at all levels
  • Promotes creating green jobs
  • Promoting activism to to stop all forms of pollution
  • What can you do to help today? Here are some suggestions you and your fellow earth dwellers can get into to help out:

  • Do NOT Litter
  • Walk, bike, take the bus, or use some other form of public transportation- FYI- CDTA might allow free rides for those who wear green
  • Plant a tree
  • Turn the heat off and load up on sweaters and blankets
  • Pretend like there's a power outage- turn off everything for the day and find other things to occupy your time- Hint- doing other Earth Day tasks
  • Don't use any electrical appliances- let your hair air dry and be in its natural state, don't charge your phone, stay off the computer and put the iPod away
  • Get involved with an Earth Day project, either individually or find one in your community
  • Clean up a heavily trashed park, picnic area or any other outside public place
  • It may not seem like it, but every little thing helps. If 100 people do even just one thing on this list, that is a huge savings, and if they inspire others to do the same, just imagine the possibilities. The little effort and time can lead to a big change. It all starts with you.

    For example, I work as a waitress at a retirement home, and every single time I see a recyclable in the garbage, I take it out and put it in the recycling bin, no lie. No matter what's on it or how gross it may be, I put it where it belongs, and then wash my hands. It's not gross, it's practical and it's right. The cooks know where bottles nad other plastics go, they are just lazy, like most other people. Do yourself and the world a favor by taking the extra few steps to the recycling bin. Every bottle counts.

    For more information and other ways you can help today, go here, and to make a donation, go here.

    Go Rock Yourself, and go green. Whether it's for today only or for the long haul, you're going to change the world one way or another.

    Have you done things in the past for Earth Day? Do you have plans for today? What is Earth Day to you?