This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:
On Sunday, people from all over the world will celebrate Earth Day. To show how much they care about the environment, they’ll meet to clean up riverbeds, remove garbage from public parks, plant trees and learn how to keep the natural world around them clean and safe for animals, plants and people everywhere.
There wasn’t always a holiday called Earth Day, though. The first Earth Day was organized 42 years ago this week by a politician from Wisconsin called Gaylord Nelson.
Although there are many laws that protect the environment today, these laws – such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts – didn’t exist when Nelson planned his original Earth Day protest. The millions of people who joined him on Earth Day, 1970, helped to convince politicians around the world that preserving nature should be a priority.
To see just how many people participated in the first Earth Day event, watch this TV news report from 1970 (via Earthday.org):
Today, there are all sorts of big and little things you can do to celebrate Earth Day (here’s a handy list from the team over at HuffPost Green). Whether you take a hike with your family, pick up litter in your neighborhood with friends, come up with a recycling plan for the coming year, or join a larger public clean-up – and even if you can’t do any of the above – make sure you take some time to think about the importance of preserving our planet, so that your children (and their children) can continue celebrating Earth Day for many years to come.
Questions for discussion:
- Why is it important for us to keep our environment clean?
- What can we do as a family to celebrate Earth Day?
- What can we do every day to make sure the natural world around us stays safe for people, animals and plants?
- Gaylord Nelson got people to take notice of a cause that he believed in. Are there other subjects you think people don’t care enough about? What can you do to raise awareness?
In her new cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."
We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.