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Martin Nelson - 20 Mar 2019



These words of the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead – who with others 50 years ago in 1969 chose this fixed event in the calendar to be the first Earth Day – apply precisely to the equinox.

The Spring Equinox is a natural Earth Day, with a host of advantages built in. Not only that, it has a twin on the other side of the year: the Autumnal Equinox (September 23).

We have so many problems to solve that cross boundaries, continents and oceans – above all, a climate crisis. That’s why Earth Days are needed more than ever – and with two equinoxes you get twice the frequency, double the value.

And yet the early environment movement missed these unique advantages of Equinoxes – that they are actual Earth Days, during which we share a moment of equality.  The following year, 1970, Earth Day was officially established on April 22, as a date better suited to the US school calendar.

Equinoxes have been left unused for half a century; now is the time to reclaim them.

We need a call to action on a date that is universally meaningful.

Equinoxes are the answer:

Twice a year gives a new rhythm, a new habit of action, every 6 months, in Spring and Autumn.

Fixed Planet Events Equinoxes are true planet events, fixed until the end of time. It’s logical to use them. With a planetary perspective you get to see the Big Picture. In the new One World era, we must have that vision.

Equal under the Sun Equi-nox means equal night. It’s when, each March and September, the entire Earth gets equal amounts of light and dark (12 hours night and day). You can say that at equinox we are Equal under the Sun©. There’s no better time to sense our common destiny and purpose – our global citizenship.

Make both the Spring Equinox (March 20th) & the Autumn Equinox (September 23rd) Earth Days. 

Taking Earth Day Action on the equinoxes will have more impact and build, year-on-year.

Planet Action Equinoxes are planet events – ideal moments for adding the individual’s “little bit” to the greater whole.

Rhythm Equinoxes are twins – the Spring-Autumn rhythm will work beautifully, harmonising with financial and academic calendars, giving summer and winter patterns. Then, whatever is achieved – action, resolution, celebration, link, audit – six months later we can check our progress, refreshing or redoubling our efforts.

Temperature Equinoxes are neutral – ideal for taking a planetary ‘temperature’ audit – a matrix of available data to judge our progress in tackling de-carbonising, pollution, biodiversity, etc.

Daylight saving In March we sleep unnecessarily through morning daylight. There is a simple, fair, and logical equinox-based solution to daylight saving that could be applied internationally and save $millions in energy costs and tonnes of CO² completely cost-free!

Equinoxes ARE Earth Days: they clarify our relationship to our home planet. Now is the time to put them to use. We don’t have long.

A new initiative led by the young is taking root fast (clickable), adding pressure to act as if there is a future (for them). That’s the stick. And the carrot? – remember that science tells us climate change (clickable) is overwhelmingly caused by man-made global warming. If we made it, we can un-make it.

Happy equinox!

Image credits: Mead photo Ed Dunens, Vernal Equinox Sunrise — reproduced under this Creative Commons license.

Feature image : Pete Lawrence