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Puzzle Warehouse

Earth Day 2024

Since 1970, April 22 has been recognized around the world as “Earth Day.”  The day was established to bring awareness to the state of our planet because, as environmental awareness increased, people realized things were looking pretty grim for Mother Earth. At the time, cars were using leaded gas, unregulated manufacturing plants were filling the air, waterways, and ground with pollutants and carcinogens, and air quality was bad enough that in September, in Southern California, I could barely see the mountains right behind my house. It was obvious that the planet, and its people, needed change.

In the U.S. the first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the decades since, public awareness of the damages done to the planet prompted regulation of industry and changes to the way we live. Leaded gasoline became a relic of the past, and certain pesticides were either banned or severely restricted. 

If you’re interested, you can see a history of Earth Day here, on their website. Personally, I knew that the awareness of environmental issues raised by the day had influenced some legislation over time. But reading their story again reminded me just how much impact it has had. For this blog, though, I’m not focused on legislation. Instead, I want to feature the beauty that exists when we learn to coexist with nature, rather than ignoring, or destroying it.

My first choice for the month was Forest Stream, a beautiful outdoor scene from Eurographics. This 1000 piece jigsaw features a scene I’ve probably viewed hundreds of times on hikes both in California and around the Pacific Northwest. The trees, the stream, the rocky creekbed - all contributing to an overall feeling of peace and beauty conveyed by the image.

Forest Stream puzzle

Forest Stream by Eurographics

Completing Forest Stream took longer than expected. It started great; I had the pieces sorted, and the border and stream completely done in under two hours. The rocks took maybe another 90 minutes, and then I hit a wall. Trees and bushes? Not my strong suit. I definitely have a new area to focus on. But, as slow as I was, I did eventually get through it, and the look and feel of the puzzle at the end made it worth the struggle.

My second Earth Day selection was a picture of a place I’ve visited many times. Multnomah Falls is a popular tourist attraction about an hour outside of downtown Portland, Oregon. Pictures of it are all over the internet, and the parking lot is almost never empty. The puzzle I chose, like Forest Stream, is from Eurographics.

water fall puzzle

Multnomah Falls by Eurographics

Multnomah Falls, like Forest Stream,had both an easy side and a tougher one, requiring a greater focus on the minor differences in piece color and shape. And, like Forest Stream, the border and the water portion were quickly assembled, while the remainder of the hillside, with its trees and bushes, had me hunched over my puzzle table longer than anticipated. I loved it!

My final “ain’t Earth grand” puzzle of the month featured not another grand outdoor scene, but a smaller slice of nature. Rooftop Garden, from eBoo, is 500 pieces of urban greenery. This puzzle was a perfect change from the others. Its simple gardening theme says to me, “if you can’t do a lot to keep Earth green, you can at least do a little.”

Rooftop Garden puzzle

Rooftop Garden by eBoo

I’m sure the founders of Earth Day would be surprised at the impact their efforts have yielded around the globe. With over 190 countries now participating, the focus on taking care of our planetary home has never been greater. And the mountains behind that house I grew up in? Plainly visible every day.

Happy Puzzling.


Phil (aka Puzzle Buster)

Comments - Add Comment 5.0 Stars 4
5 Stars
Anne - California

I love being able to see the mountains every day, and I vividly remember the horrible smog we lived with back then!

5 Stars
Lisa J. - Windermere, FL

Glad you can see your mountains now! My in-laws used to live right outside of Multnomah Falls - such a pretty place and the puzzle is very true to how it looks in person!

5 Stars
Alyssa Z. - Stevenson Ranch, CA
5 Stars
Darcie - Connecticut

Makes me want to go on a big road trip!

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