To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

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Do Now

Do you make it a regular practice to care for the environment? If so, what do you do?


The first Earth Day celebration was held on April 20, 1970. Its founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, developed the idea over a seven-year period after he realized that political leaders were not making environmental issues a priority. Senator Nelson began a massive grassroots effort among his colleagues and in local communities. Twenty million people participated in the first Earth Day. They became part of a change that continues today.

In the Bay Area, Earth Day served to enhance the environmental activism already present at that time. Many people had begun grassroots efforts that were making significant impacts in their own communities. Air, water, garbage and open space were just some of the challenging environmental issues that were not being addressed. In the 1960s, there were no recycling programs or Clean Air Act, sewage was freely dumped into waterways, toxic emissions went unregulated, little open space was being preserved and the Bay’s wetlands were disappearing rapidly.

Things are very different today, thanks to the work begun 42 years ago by a few key people. Now, there are many Bay Area citizens who are interested in and passionate about taking care of the environment. And students are growing up to be the next generation of environmental stewards. Whether conducting energy audits at their schools, planting native species to restore habitats, or participating in beach and waterway clean-ups, youth are making a difference in their communities.

How do you make a difference?


KQED QUEST Earth Day Special: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed – April 21, 2008

Journey back in time to the birth of the Bay Area’s environmental movement. Meet the everyday people who rescued the Bay Area from environmental disaster and continue to inspire a new generation.

To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

More Resources

Earth Day Radio Special: The History of Environmental Justice – April 20, 2007
QUEST Radio takes a look at the history of the environmental justice movement, and where it’s going.

Saving the Bay’s website contains 26 video segments about San Francisco Bay, from its geologic origins to restoration efforts occurring today.

KQED’s Earth Celebration 2012
Earth Day is April 22, but KQED is celebrating our planet all month long.

Do Now #26: Earth Day…Every Day? 8 March,2017Andrea Aust



Andrea Aust

Andrea is the Senior Manager of Science Education for KQED. In addition to QUEST, she's had the pleasure of coordinating education and outreach for the public television series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures and the four-hour documentary Saving the Bay. Andrea graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Environmental Science and earned her M.A. in Teaching and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco. Prior to KQED, she taught, developed, and managed marine science and environmental education programs in Aspen, Catalina Island and the Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter at @KQEDaust.

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