Socket was curious about the origins and impact of Earth Day, so we did a little digging! (But not enough to uproot the tulips!)
When did Earth Day begin?
The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans demonstrated for cleaner air, land, and water. Thousands of locations, including several colleges and universities, participated in the event.
When was Nashville’s first Earth Day?
2017 marks the 16th Nashville Earth Day celebrated in Centennial Park. Before that, Nashville Earth Day celebrations we held throughout the community at places like the Cumberland Science Museum (now Adventure Science Center), Radnor Lake, the YMCA, and many more!
Why do we celebrate on April 22?
The date of April 22 was chosen because on many university calendars, it falls between spring break and final exams. Since college students were targeted to champion the movement, this date accommodated their schedules.
What impact did the first Earth Day have?
By the end of 1970, “the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.” Source: EarthDay.org
When did Earth Day go global?
On Earth Day’s 20th anniversary April 22, 1990, the event went worldwide, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries to celebrate the planet.
What about now?
Today, Earth Day has the distinction of being the “largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.” Source: EarthDay.org
I want to know more!
I want to participate!
Socket can’t wait to see you at Nashville’s Earth Day Festival this Saturday, April 22 at Centennial Park from 11:00am – 6:00pm. Visit Socket’s booth to meet our mascot Socket, enter the kids’ art contest, pick up a free coloring book, and enter to win a backyard composter. Our booth, #38, is at the end of our row, right across the walking path from the "Green Market" vendor area.
… Save precious water
… Reduce stormwater runoff
… Mitigate flooding and drought
… Reduce pollution to local streams and rivers
… Save money on your water bill
Can you believe all of these benefits begin with just one barrel? Socket will show you how!
Rain barrels are a simple, inexpensive, yet effective piece of green infrastructure that you can easily add to your home. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. They come in a few shapes and sizes, but all of them save you money and help protect your health and the health of the environment.
Here in Nashville, we experience both floods and drought. Rain barrels can help mitigate both. During a flood event, the ground becomes saturated with water and waterways are overwhelmed. By capturing some of the rainfall, rain barrels slow down the rate at which water must be absorbed by the environment. During dry times, your rain barrel will collect valuable rainfall to be used to quench thirsty plants around your home.
Rain barrels are also good at preventing water pollution by capturing stormwater. Socket did some research, and found an EPA blog, which states: “As stormwater flows over the surface of your property, driveways, parking lots, roofs, etc, it picks up lots of sediments, such as animal droppings, tire residue, motor oil, brake dust, deicing compounds (in the winter), fertilizers, pesticides, trash, heavy metals and other pollutants and carries them to the nearest storm drain. … From there it often goes directly into nearby streams, ponds or another water body.” (https://blog.epa.gov/blog/tag/rain-barrels/) Rain barrels can help!
Photo: waterway littered with garbage
Finally, who doesn’t want to save on their water bill and treat their outdoor plants to a treat? Socket does! Rainwater that collects in your rain barrel is free of chlorine, is slightly acidic (just the way plants like it), and contains nitrates, an important maco-nutrient for plants. Your plants will appreciate a drink of rainwater over water from the hose. Meantime, you’ll be reducing your costs for water by using what falls from the sky!
With all of these positives, why not resolve to install at least one rain barrel at your house this spring? It’s easy and inexpensive!
Ready to take the plunge?
Socket found a deal for you. You can buy a fully built rain barrel from Nashville nonprofit Cumberland River Compact for only $40. For installation and maintenance tips, Metro Water Services has you covered. Visit their website for easy steps for installing and maintaining your new rain barrels!
Want to learn more?
Check out this EPA video for a primer on rain barrels.
The Department of General Services delivers an array of services to all departments and agencies of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County so that they are able to focus and achieve their own missions.
In addition to the services that are so integral to other agencies achieving their missions, General Services maintains a focus on serving citizens. The department directly serves the public with its ADA compliance, Sustainability program Socket, Nashville's Sustainability Outlet, and eBid Nashville programs. Regardless of program area or whether service is being provided to other Metro departments or directly to citizens, DGS staff are guided by a commitment to excellent service, environmental responsibility, conservation and cost reduction.