The History of Earth Day

April 8  issue_Oct 9 2008.qxd

BY AMANDA MOSES

On April 22nd, people worldwide will plant trees, advocate for ecofriendly grassroots programs and perform various acts of service for the environment in honor of Earth Day. In light of the escalating problems of pollution, global warming and deforestation, environmentalists use Earth Day to inspire change. Founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the observation was created to promote ecology and respect for both the planet and life on it. He prompted Congress to create several important environmental legislations such as, revitalizing dilapidated state parks and reducing pollution in waterways. His continuous efforts led to the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, when 20 million people gathered in auditoriums, parks and in the streets to protest: the industrial revolution, oil spills and the extinction of wildlife. The protestors joined together to advocate for a healthier, more sustainable environment.

According to the Earth Day Network, an environmental movement, “The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.” In 2009, the United Nations renamed the occasion as International Mother Earth Day. Currently, Earth Day is celebrated by planting trees, recycling, and signing petitions to help create a better future for our planet.

For more information on what activities or the various environmental programs taking place on Earth Day, visit http://www.earthday.org/