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Author's profile photo Jim Spath

I remember … the first Earth Day

Earth Day?  When did it disappear?




Garrison Keillor has a succinct recap of the creation of Earth Day in 1970, as he often does for recent historical events that seem to fade from public attention much too quickly.


Don’t miss the “Telephone” poem lead-in.  It ties in more than you might think at first.


… the EPA [United States Environmental Protection Agency] was created  December 2, 1970 …


I was 15, about the same age as many of the Boy Scouts I try to counsel these days.

Seven years later. I started working full time for the EPA. 


Forty years later, I’ve been out of the environmental field for more than a decade, after switching from a governmental hat to an industrial one.




All right, you probably knew all of the above.  What now?  Electric usage tracking, that’s what.  I dabbled in monitoring to be able to turn off the appliances that use a lot, but you know what?  It’s easy.  Just turn off everything you aren’t using, and buy the most efficient appliances whenever replacement is due.

Our local electric utility provides a lot of data with each month’s bill.  I have nearly 10 years of tracking online.


I am unsure how much longer EditGrid will be online, but for now, you should be able to see the chart of our daily average usage for April going back to 2002.  Folks in other countries will probably say the American lifestyle uses a lot more power than everyone else, and they’d probably be right.  I’ve got reduction goals in mind, and am sharing what we’ve accomplished so far.


For the month of March (typically a good bit of winter heating left), I have a chart that also shows the average daily temperature, as reported on my bill.  It almost looks like we crossed lines between 2008 and 2010, but the blue (kWH/day) remains on top.


March usage was up a bit over 2009, but the month was cooler.




I almost forgot:

The Third Annual “Want a Free Water Bottle” offer – ASUG2010 / SapphireNow





Tomorrow is another day on Earth.  What are you doing for our legacy?

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      My memory of the first Earth Day was of my Advanced Placement biology class deciding we should all cut class and spend that time picking up litter along the highway in front of the high school. So we did. That was really radical for the goody two shoes nerds that we AP students were.


      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt
      How fitting to read a retrospective from the person who has influenced my thinking so greatly in this topic.  My own day was spent editing and collating some of the corporate content I gathered while attending a Sustainability Virtual Roundtable with Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer and EVP of Sustainability Solutions, SAP and Learning about Sustainability as a Corporate Strategy . But my day ended on a personal note of sustainability thought leadership with the wisdom of the next generation (my granddaughter Ella). Ella, who is 4 years old was eager to tell me and my daughter what we should know about Earth Day.  "You have to think about when to use the car, and when to chop down trees, and not to throw things in the garbage that you can use and making mother earth beautiful with flowers and then your face turns green". I know I wasn't that smart 40 years ago and I was 18.  Disappear?  Hardly.  Alive and well in the mouths of babes.