Earth Day History
Earth Day seeks to highlight and promote efforts dedicated to the protection of the environment. As we enter the 21st century, we face many environmental crises, including global warming, deforestation, endangered wildlife, shortages of potable water and widespread pollution, all which negatively affect our planet’s resources and can have adverse effects on our long-term lifestyle and health.
In 1970, a US Senator named Gaylord Nelson was inspired to bring about mass public awareness of environment problems. He heavily promoted the day across the nation in an effort to gather the largest amount of public support possible and ultimately, in the hopes of elevating environmental protection onto the national political agenda. This day in 1970 marked the creation of United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by billions of people around the world and is observed in over 190 countries. Worldwide, Earth Day celebrations utilize educational programs to inform people of ways that can help protect the environment and its natural resources. It is observed annually on April 22nd and is celebrated as International Earth Day.
Earth Day Facts & Quotes
- During the 2015 UN Conference in Paris, France, participating nations concurred on the need for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The countries cooperatively pledged to keep global temperature rise below 2C (3.6F). In celebration of Earth Day 2016 on April 22nd, the landmark agreement that testifies to this global commitment was signed at the UN Headquarters in New York by 175 participating nations.The history of Earth Day 2017 dates back to 1970 when it was first celebrated in 1970. It was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson to promote ecology and the respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.
- Energy Star rated LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
- In 2013, the US emitted 14.7 trillion pounds (14,700,000,000,000lbs) or 6.6 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents ‘Greenhouse Gases’.
In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.– U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.– Native American Proverb
Earth Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Organize a group of volunteers to help clean up and restore a green space. Some suggestions include planting trees and adding waste receptacles.
- Try to go the whole day without creating any garbage, • Try not to use your car for the entire day. Instead, use public transit, walk or ride your bicycle.
- Change your traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy saving LED or CFL light bulbs.
- Watch a documentary or movie that touches on an ecological issue. Our favorites are: An Inconvenient Truth (2006), the Burning Season (1993, 2008), Elemental (2012) and The Day after Tomorrow (2004).
- Read one of many books that relate to environmental issues such as, The World Without Us (Alan Weisman), Hell and High Water (Joseph Romm) and Natural Capitalism (Hawken, Lovins and Lovins)