Earth Day: April 22

Around the world, millions of people join in Earth Day activities to raise awareness of environmental problems and take action to create a better future. Our planet needs help year-round, but April 22 is a great time to get started. Meanwhile, take our quiz to see if you're up to speed on a few environmental facts.
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The first Earth Day was held on April 22 in:
a) 1969
b) 1970
c) 1971

Earth Day

Earth Day was founded by Rachel Carson, author of the New York Times bestseller, Silent Spring, which set off a massive environmental movement.
a) True
b) False

Greenhouse gases, emitted when fossil fuels are burned, trap heat and make the planet warmer. In the United States, the top source of greenhouse gases is burning fossil fuels for:
a) Transportation, including cars, trucks, ships, planes, and trains
b) Industrial operations such as factories
c) Production of electricity
d) Heating and air conditioning of residential and commercial buildings

There are four major types of greenhouse gases produced by human activity around the world. Which one accounts for the majority of greenhouse gases today?
a) Carbon dioxide, also referred to as CO2 or simply carbon
b) Nitrous oxide
c) Fluorinated gases
d) Methane

Which of these is reduced by trees?
a) Air pollution
b) Urban noise pollution
c) Water pollution
d) (a) and (c)
e) All of the above

If you want to use solar power in your home, solar panels must be installed on the roof.
a) True
b) False

In a year, the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by one acre of mature trees is equal to the amount produced by driving the average car for how many miles?
a) 14,000
b) 20,000
c) 26,000
d) 32,000

1. b) 1970.

2. b) The publication of Silent Spring, in 1962, was a breakthrough event in igniting environmental consciousness and activism. Rachel Carson continues to be an icon of the environmental movement, and after her death at the age of 56 in 1964, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. However, Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin; 20 million Americans take part in rallies calling for a sustainable environment. In December of that year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established.

3. c) Production of electricity generates 31 percent of American greenhouse gas emissions, the largest share. About two-thirds of our electrical power comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas. Transportation generates 27 percent of greenhouse gases, followed by industrial operations, with 21 percent.

4. a) Carbon dioxide makes up 76 percent.

5. e) Trees reduce air, water, and urban noise pollution.

6. b) In many parts of the country, anyone who pays a power bill can buy solar, wind, or other forms of renewable energy through their local power company. To find out more, visit the EPA's Green Power Partnership at epa.gov/greenpower.

7. c) 26,000 miles.

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