Origin of Earth Day

In the 1960s, there were many concerns about the awareness regarding the environment among Americans. During this period, U.S senator and environmentalist, Gaylord Nelson, tried to galvanize the conservation movement through the appropriate creation of a national celebration.

Nelson made many efforts in the Congress to pass legislation to protect the popular Appalachian Trail. He also tried to pass a legislation to ban the use of DDT. In order to organize the first Earth Day, Nelson sought some help from Denis Hayes, who was a graduate of Harvard University.

The first Earth Day was celebrated on 22nd April, 1970. It was specifically designed as an environmental awareness program. Its aim was to educate participants about the importance of conserving the environment. In 1990, Denis Hayes organized a global Earth Day. It was observed in more than 140 countries by 200 million persons. 

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From San Francisco to San Juan, Beijing to Brussels, Moscow to Marrakesh, people plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more—all on behalf of the environment.Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever. Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people. 

Forty-four years ago, Earth Day began. Great strides have been made through technology by improving water quality, air quality, and recycling. We still have a long way to go, and if you haven’t done your part to make our earth a cleaner place, start today.

  • Dispose of old computers  through the correct channels, as the monitors contain materials that are very harmful.
  • There are ways to destroy personal information by use of shredders. Professional shredding companies contract with hospitals and other businesses to safely remove old paper records.
  • Ride a bike to work, or just simply for the exercise.
  • Teach your children to know the difference between recycling materials and those that we simply toss away.
  • Plastic bottles, plastic grocery sacks are hard on our environment; take reusable bags to the grocery stores,
  • Drink water from a glass rather than a plastic bottle. There are washable cups with lids that you can carry your coffee, tea, or water with you while away from the house.
  • Carry a sack with you when you go for a walk, and pick up debris that others have simply tossed aside.
  • Help keep our lakeshores clean.
  • Plant a tree.

There are so many ways each one of us can do our part, and those small tasks can help improve our little corner of the world.  If everyone would do the same, and businesses would make every effort to comply with environmental laws, what an even greater earth it would be!

For more ideas or to volunteer to help spread the word, check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

Source:  Earth Day Network; Earth Day 2014