What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a global event.

Activities and events are held each year as a show of support for Earth’s environment.

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22.

The purpose is to show global support for the protection of our environment.

Earth Day is celebrated worldwide in over 192 countries.

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970.

Why was Earth Day started?

In the late 1960’s and into 1970, most Americans paid little attention to the damage being done to our environment.

Most Americans drove very large cars that got very poor gas mileage. Not only were petroleum products being used excessively, but automobile emissions were polluting the air.

Many industries paid little attention to the damage they were doing to the environment.

Earth Day 1970 was organized to promote awareness for our environment, and to encourage all people to take better care of the environment.

Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, proposed and organized the first Earth Day in 1970. As a result, on April 20, 1970, 20 million Americans took up the environmental cause and protested.

Thousands of schools, colleges and universities participated in the first Earth Day. The participants led peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform.

Americans protested against oil spills….

…polluting industries and power plants…..

….the dumping of raw sewage….

…..the dumping of toxins, such as pesticides and other toxic wastes, into streams and rivers…..

…..the loss of wilderness and deforestation…..

…..and the extinction of many wildlife species.

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 1990 Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries

In 1995 President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest honor given to civilians in the United States -- for his role as Earth Day founder.

In 2010, on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Earth Day Network launched a “Billion Acts of Green.” Participants were asked to register their “acts of green” and state what they were doing to protect the environment.

By April 22, 2012, one billion actions had been recorded by the people of the world.

The Earth Day Network has now set as its goal, 2 billion “acts of green.”

You can record your actions here: http://act.earthday.org/index.html

What is your goal for Earth Day?

What can you do to protect the Earth?

Happy Earth Day!

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Created by Amy Brown

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