Over the last few decades, sustainability has become a relevant topic discussed across the globe. An urgency to protect the world’s resources, habitats and ecosystems has rapidly increased as the impacts of global climate change and finite resources become more noticeable with each passing day. International Mother Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22nd, was established as a day to recognize, educate and urge people to act and protect and respect the nature surrounding them. Below are five quick facts regarding this special day.
- The very first Earth Day was organized by a college student, Denis Hayes, and celebrated in 1970. This event saw over 20 million people participate in marches, protests, and other activities across the United States.
- Two main factors which sparked the movement were the release of Rachel Carlson’s book raising awareness on the earth’s declining state and its impact on the public, Silent Spring, and the aftermath of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
- Originally, this celebration was organized as teach-ins across college campuses.
- Because the original goal of the celebration used college campuses as their main organizing area, its organizers chose the date April 22nd as that year, the 22nd landed on a weekday between spring break and finals week. Organizers hoped that by picking this day, it would maximize student participation.
- The annual celebration brought on major policy change such as the implementation of The Clean Air Act, The Water Quality Improvement Act, The Endangered Species Act, The Toxic Substances Control Act, and The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
It was not until 1990 that Earth Day became a global celebration, reaching over 200 million people. Earth Day is incredibly unique as it is recognized as one of the largest secular movements in the United States. Today, nearly 50 years after the first demonstration, the need to address climate change and take action is higher than ever.
This April 22nd, we encourage you to learn how you can continue to support the worldwide efforts to protect our Mother Earth.