What is Earth Day?
Proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson and named by ad man Julian Koenig (Earth Day like birthday), Earth Day was created to elevate environmental concerns to the national political agenda. At that time there weren’t regulatory or legal protections in place; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t exist nor did the Clean Air or Water Acts. Polluting the streams, lands, and air was the norm. The first Earth Day in April 1970 changed that. Across the Unites States, 20 million people demonstrated and shifted the focus onto environmental issues. Soon after, the EPA was authorized and created by Congress.
In 1990, Earth Day managed another major campaign. This time the event mobilized on a global scale, reaching ten times as many people and bringing 140 countries into action. Earth Day 1990 boosted recycling and set up the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In 2000, Earth Day leveraged the newly introduced internet to connect people worldwide and begin calling for immediate action on global warming and promotion of clean energy. Today, Earth Day is an international movement pushing for environmental policies at the local, national, and global levels.
How can I participate in Earth Day?
Commitment to green living requires day-to-day changes; you can find 52 ideas here. To celebrate the day itself and invest in the planet, try one of these three volunteer opportunities that invest in the planet.
Saving the planet is not an easy task. We don’t need superheroes. We just need everyday people stepping up every day for change.