Earth Day Gifts / February 25, 2019 / Chris Burris
Wanting the U.S. government to take an active role in environmental concerns Nelson presented the idea for a national conservationist tour to President Kennedy who supported the idea. While President Kennedy s tour did not turn environmental issues into mainstream conversations it was a beginning in changing America s role in environmental issues. Nelson was inspired by college campuses widespread Vietnam protests or teach-ins. He thought a nationwide conservationist teach-in would get more Americans involved in environmental issues. Nelson presented his Earth Day idea to other government officials and news organizations.
Mainstream Americans talked about recycling and conservation. In the 1980 s many people recycled within their neighborhood recycling programs. People s awareness of their ecological responsibility became part of their lives and actions. Children learned the importance of taking care of their environment; they were taught to care for the earth and its animals. The iconic Smokey Bear (originated in the mid 1940 s) featured poster slogans like "If not you who?" and "Only you can prevent forest fires. We can t." Americans seemed to step-up to their roles as Earth trustees. In the 1990 s recycling programs reduced overall waste by twenty percent. With people and government taking responsibility companies followed suit.
A study in California showed an interesting consumer reaction. Electric bills featured along with the numbers a smiling face on below-average usage and a frowning face on above-average bills. After that simple nudge the heavy users made cuts in consumption while the light users remained frugal. The same could be done with water bills in drought-plagued areas and desert developments. Mother s Day in India is celebrated at homes with as much reverence and gusto as anywhere else in the world. In India as a secular nation mothers and mother goddesses have been worshiped for generations.