2020 Theme: Climate Action

This year, we celebrate a milestone on April 22 as we celebrate half a century recognizing Earth Day. But what does that mean? The day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. (See below for the history of the day.)

What can you do to contribute to Earth Day?

If you want to do your part this year for Earth Day, here are some ideas:

  • Bike more, drive less
  • Conserve water
  • Use non-toxic chemicals at home and the office
  • Recycle plastic, paper, and cardboard
  • Shop wisely—buy less plastic and take reusable shopping bags
  • Plant a tree
  • Volunteer for community cleanups
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs Bottom of Form


Tune into Earth Day Live on April 22:



Origins of Earth Day

Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging awareness of the state of our planet.

According to About Us, The History of Earth Day, Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962 set the stage for change, raising awareness between pollution and health.

The Idea for the First Earth Day

The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson (a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin), witnessed the results of an oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. At that same time, he was impressed by students protesting against the war. He thought if he could combine that same anti-war energy behind an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the political agenda.

Nelson, along with the help of Pete McCloskey (a Republican Congressman) and Denis Hayes (from Harvard), set the wheels in motion across the nation through the media and education.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated across the nation in rallies. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water and Endangered Species Acts.


Earth Day Goes Global

In 1990. Denis Hayes was approached by a group of environmental leaders to take the campaign across the globe. The result was 200 million people in 141 countries focusing on our planet.

For more information and source, go to: About Us, The History of Earth Day: https://www.earthday.org/history/

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