Earth Day Every Day: Working Toward Energy 2030

Order your free Earth Day fun books from MGE.

Earth Day is April 22. Every year, millions of people around the world engage in events to promote awareness of impacts on our environment and its wildlife. The global event hits especially close to home for those of us in Wisconsin.

Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day was founded by a Wisconsin native, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. It was first observed on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million people participated nearly 50 years ago during the inaugural event! Though Nelson passed away in 2005, his legacy of environmental stewardship endures today around the world.

Free Earth Day fun books

MGE works with local schools to raise awareness about Earth Day and to share information about how reducing our individual energy use can reduce our collective impact on the environment. Reducing our energy use is part of our long-term strategy under MGE's Energy 2030 framework for helping to lower our carbon dioxide emissions 40% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Earth Day booklet cover

For more than 10 years, MGE has published an annual Earth Day classroom activity booklet. We call it "Earth Day Every Day" because every day is an opportunity to do something positive for our environment. MGE's free Earth Day fun books include stories and local features that illustrate how to live more sustainably, from gardening and composting to reducing your energy use through the "carbon quiz" to learning about electric vehicles and generating renewable energy such as wind and solar.

Jim Jenson is MGE's Community Education Manager. He regularly visits local middle and elementary schools, and other community settings, with a Madison-based performer to share MGE's free MaGicEnergy presentation. In about 30 minutes, MaGicEnergy combines energy education, wordplay and magic to teach kids about energy efficiency, conservation and sustainability—and to show them how technology is changing the energy landscape. Jenson also has helped to assemble and organize MGE's Earth Day Every Day activities since the beginning.

Jim Jenson

Jim Jenson is MGE’s Community Education Manager.

"Programs like Earth Day Every Day and MaGicEnergy deal with real-world issues and promote healthy habits for young people in a fun, interactive and engaging format," Jenson said. "They offer practical solutions that kids can take home and use in their everyday lives—and it's entertaining, which makes it more effective."

If you're a local teacher and you're interested in ordering free Earth Day fun books for your classroom, grades 4-8, visit mge.com/earthday/book. Please place your request by March 27, 2017. Fun books will be delivered the week of April 10, 2017.

Video contest

Those who enter MGE's video contest could win a party worth up to $500 for their classroom. All it takes is a little creativity to come up with activities to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint! Participating classrooms may request a box of chalk to help students illustrate creative ways to be green. Check out this video from one of last year's winners! Videos are due May 1, 2017. To learn more, visit mge.com/earthday/contest.

Nelson and MGE's peregrine falcons

As a U.S. Senator, Nelson worked to ban the use of the pesticide DDT. The chemical is responsible for causing the peregrine falcon to become nearly extinct, among other environmental impacts. DDT caused a thinning of the falcons' eggs, causing eggs to break under incubation and resulting in a rapid decline in population.

The peregrine falcon has since rebounded thanks, in part, to the work of Senator Nelson. Today, MGE's campus is home to a pair of peregrine falcons that returns every year to nest at our Blount Generating Station. Generally from the end of February or early March through late spring, MGE's livestream of our nesting box provides a window into the lives of these magnificent birds of prey, from the laying of eggs to the young chicks fledging for the first time. Tune into MGE's live peregrine falcon cam to catch these raptors nesting, feeding and raising their young.

Falcon flying high

published: 03-06-2017