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Celebrate Earth Day : 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.

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Return to Nature

Discover the new science and ancient wisdom on why nature makes us healthier and happier in body and soul. For centuries, we have known that getting outside is good for us. Yet we have become increasingly disconnected from the earth that nourishes us, with most of us spending 87% of our days indoors. In response, writer and environmentalist Emma Loewe demonstrates the power of nature's healing properties in a guidebook organized by eight landscapes. 

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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Climate Travels

Many accounts of climate change depict disasters striking faraway places: melting ice caps, fearsome hurricanes, all-consuming fires. How can seeing the consequences of human impacts up close help us grasp how global warming affects us and our neighbors? This book is a travelogue that spotlights what a changing climate looks like on the local level--for wherever local happens to be. Michael M. Gunter, Jr. takes readers around the United States to bear witness to the many faces of the climate crisis. He argues that conscientious travel broadens understanding of climate change and makes its dangers concrete and immediate.

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In Purified: How Recycled Sewage Is Transforming Our Water, veteran journalist Peter Annin shows that wastewater has become a surprising weapon in America's war against water scarcity. Annin probes deep into the water reuse movement in five water-strapped states--California, Texas, Virginia, Nevada, and Florida. He drinks beer made from purified sewage, visits communities where purified sewage came to the rescue, and examines how one of the nation's largest wastewater plants hopes to recycle one hundred percent of its wastewater by 2035. 

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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. 

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Less Heat, More Light

A straightforward and fact-based exploration of how weather happens, how it relates to climate, and how science answers major questions about Earth as a system.This book conveys that the basics of climate and climate change have been known for decades, and that relatively simple descriptions can capture the major features of the climate system and help the general public understand what controls climate and weather, and how both might be changing.   

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Time to Think Small

This call to climate action examines ways we can leverage the growing power of smartphones and other technologies to become effective environmental stewards in the face of our climate crisis. Personal technologies are creating what the Environmental Defense Fund calls "a transformational shift" in how we address environmental problems. Time to Think Small explores how these brand-new approaches are already playing a huge role in winning some of the most difficult and important environmental struggles of our day.

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Our Planet Powered by AI

A hands-on guide to evolving your company with ethical AI along with thought-provoking insights and predictions from a variety of well-known industry leaders. You'll learn to create sustainable, effective competitive advantage by introducing previously unheard-of levels of adaptability, resilience, and innovation into your company. The author explains the strategic archetypes, technological infrastructures, and cultures of sustainability you'll need to ensure your firm's next-level digital transformation takes root. 

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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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. 

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.