Work Well

Work Well advocates for a culture of wellness for UND faculty and staff through innovative engagement opportunities.

April Wellness Spotlight

April 22nd is Earth Day!

Earth day is a global event recognized on April 22nd each year. It is a time where the Earth is celebrated and awareness about our environment and climate change is highly important. It promotes the need to protect our Earth for future generations. In April’s Wellness Spotlight, we discuss why Earth Day became recognized, the positive changes that have occurred, and what you can do to help protect our planet.

When did Earth Day Become Recognized and Why?

Before Earth Day became recognized, there were no legal procedures put in place to protect our environment. This means that factories could expose toxic chemicals to the environment, and there were no restrictions. In 1969, there were many planet altering events that occurred and sparked the idea for change. A drastic fire broke out on the The Cuyahoga River due to oil and chemicals being oozed into the river. That same year, the Bald Eagle population had a drastic downfall in numbers due to the chemical DDT. Also, the same year, an oil rig leaked millions of gallons of oil off the coast near Santa Barbara. These three events caught national attention due to their severity. Senator Gaylord Nelson took interest in these issues and organized a day that would be considered a “teach in” about these climate issues. This event took place on April 22, 1970. There were over 2,000 colleges and universities that participated in the event, along with 10,000 public schools. This tallied to twenty million Americans that came together and demonstrated a need to protect our environment. This was almost 10% of the United States population during the time, that participated in this event. It showed immense amount of people that care about the Earth, and that it needs to be protected.

What has been changed?

Since Earth Day has become recognized, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established. Along with this, there have been many policies that have been passed. These policies include:

  • The Clean Air Act
  • The Water Quality Improvement Act
  • The Endangered Species Act
  • The Toxic Substances Control Act
  • The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

How can YOU help protect the planet?


  • Bike more, drive less
  • Use public transportation when possible
  • Carpool with others to eliminate the number of vehicles on the road
  • Turn off your vehicle if idling


  • Buy local to reduce extra transportation of products
  • Buy bulk food to avoid excess packaging
  • Reduce food waste by planning meals ahead of time
  • Compost food waste
  • Use a reusable water bottle to cut plastic waste


  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Buy glass containers for storing instead of plastic
  • Use energy-efficient appliances
  • Turn off the faucet when not in use
  • Bring reusable bags when shopping

Household Energy

  • Turn off lights when possible
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use
  • Run air conditioning less in the summer time


  • Buy recycled clothing
  • Wash clothing in cold water
  • Donate old clothes

Invest in Our Planet

There is a nationally recognized Earth Day theme each year. The theme for 2023 is Invest in Our Planet. How can you participate in this?


Tips and Resources:

When was the First Earth Day?

Today in History – Earth Day

Earth Day History

Learn how to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Importance of Earth Day