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Celebrate Earth Day 2023: Home

What is Earth Day?

What is Earth Day?First Earth Day Poster

"The American Celebration of the environment began on April 22, 1970, with activities from coast to coast in dedication of a renewed concern for land, water, and air. Earth Day was initiated, in part, by the moon landings and in particular from emotions stirred by the first photograph of the earth from space. Earth Day was the inspiration of Senator Gaylord Nelson (D–WI) who spent the previous eight years deeply concerned about the state of the physical environment, wanting to take action to rectify the damage."

Pitzl, Gerald R. "Earth Day." Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, Paul Robbins, Sage Publications, 1st edition, 2007. Credo Reference


Poster from the first Earth Day

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, as a response to environmental disasters. Yukihisa Isobe designed this promotional poster for the Environmental Action Coalition of New York, formed to coordinate the city’s Earth Day events. A rally on the steps of the Library’s 42nd Street location featured speeches by Mayor John Lindsay and a number of leading authors. An estimated 20 million participated nationwide, and Earth Day became an annual event, catalyzing the modern environmental activist movement, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.


From The New York Public Library's Digital Collection

Browse selected titles below from the SCC Library then find more print books and ebooks.

The Day the World Stops Shopping

Consuming less is our best strategy for saving the planet--but can we do it? J. B. MacKinnon investigates how we may achieve a world without shopping and asks, What would really happen if we simply stopped shopping? Is there a way to reduce our consumption to earth-saving levels without triggering economic collapse? MacKinnon investigates how living with less would change our planet, our society, and ourselves.

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Global Environmental Careers

This book is the ideal guide to equipping you with the tools and know-how to develop an environmental career. It is filled with practical advice, case studies, personal profiles and top tips across the global environment sector. An essential resource for anyone, from school students to those who are already in work but dreaming of a more meaningful career. 

How to Prepare for Climate Change

A practical and comprehensive guide to surviving the greatest disaster of our time. You might not realize it, but we're already living through the beginnings of climate chaos. How to Prepare for Climate Change offers sensible, deeply researched advice for how the rest of us should start to ready ourselves for the years ahead.

Regenerative Fashion

Regenerative Fashion presents a roadmap for new ways of doing fashion. To keep our planet safe, we must cut production and end our dependency on fossil fuels. We must also create dignified livelihoods for the millions of people working in the industry. By using natural resources, paying factory workers and farmers a living wage and scaling up craft production, we can not only rebuild soils, ecosystems and biodiversity, but also support decarbonization, regenerate communities and ensure a just transition for all. 

The Atlas of Disappearing Places

The Atlas of Disappearing Places depicts twenty locations across the globe, from Shanghai and Antarctica to Houston and the Cook Islands. The authors describe four climate change impacts—changing chemistry, warming waters, strengthening storms, and rising seas—using the metaphor of the ocean as a body to draw parallels between natural systems and human systems.

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We're All Climate Hypocrites Now

This book helps you decide what are the most important climate actions to take for your own personal situation. Our culture tells us that personal responsibility is central to tackling the climate emergency, yet the choices we make are often governed by the systems in which we live. By understanding where our greatest leverage lies, we can prioritize our actions, maximize our impact, and join forces with the other imperfect individuals who are ready to do their part to change the system.

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Diversifying Power

For too long too many leaders have prioritized corporate profits over the public good, exacerbating climate vulnerabilities while reinforcing economic and racial injustice. Transformation to a just, sustainable renewable-based society requires leaders who connect social justice to climate and energy. In this book, energy expert Jennie Stephens argues that the key to effectively addressing the climate crisis is diversifying leadership so that antiracist, feminist priorities are central.  

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Future Foods

Future Foods: Global Trends, Opportunities, and Sustainability Challenges highlights trends and sustainability challenges along the entire agri-food supply chain. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book addresses innovations, technological developments, state-of-the-art based research, value chain analysis, and a summary of future sustainability challenges. 

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Understanding Climate Change

In this book, environmental science expert Frank R. Spellman, PhD, gives a clear-eyed and concise overview of climate change--explaining what is happening to our planet and why. Emphasizing scientific data and climate change indicators, Spellman gives a sober (but not panicked) assessment of the problems(natural and human-made) we face and looks at possible mitigating factors and solutions. 

Repair Revolution

Repair Revolution chronicles the rise of Repair Cafes, Fixit Clinics, and other volunteer-run organizations devoted to helping consumers repair their beloved but broken items for free. Repair Revolution explores the philosophy and wisdom of repairing, as well as the Right to Repair movement. It provides inspiration and instructions for starting, staffing, and sustaining your own repair events.

Check out select streaming videos below from the library's databases. 

Watch Streaming Videos from the SCC Library

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Kiss the Ground

A revolutionary group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians band together in a global movement of "Regenerative Agriculture" that could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.

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Patagonia: The Ends of the Earth

From the Namib Desert to Patagonia, only a handful of places on Earth can claim to be largely unchanged. Isolated from the rest of the world, these places have been protected from the most damaging effects of human interference. Delicately balanced, species-rich, unique ecosystems. In these lands, life exists as nature intended.

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Arctic Drift

Join scientists on the most ambitious Arctic research expedition ever. Facing hungry polar bears, perilous sea ice cracks, and brutal cold, the team strives to understand the forces that are changing the region--and the world--forever.

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Can We Cool the Planet?

As global temperatures continue to rise, scientists are wondering if we need solutions beyond reducing emissions. Enter geoengineering. From sucking carbon straight out of the air to physically blocking out sunlight, the options may seem far-fetched. Can geoengineering really work? How much would it cost? And what are the risks of engineering Earth's climate?

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Who Should Pay For A Warming Planet?

Campaigners who believe world leaders are not doing enough to combat climate change are taking matters into their own hands—and suing governments and fossil-fuel companies. But can the climate catastrophe really be resolved in court?

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Earth Emergency

Earth Emergency explores how human activity sets in motion Earth’s own natural warming mechanisms, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and further warming the planet. Leading climate scientists examine this missing piece of the climate puzzle which is pushing the climate to a tipping point.

Library Databases For Researching Environmental Topics

General Research Resources

New to library research or just need some tips?  Check out these helpful resources.