Despite being the luckiest species on Earth, most human beings don’t always realize what a privilege it is to live on this bountiful planet. From an oxygen rich atmosphere to fields and seas of sustenance, the Earth is continuously nourishing and nurturing. As a gesture of appreciation, people around the world celebrate Earth Day to spread awareness and participate in activities that help protect the environment. But what do you really know about this celebratory day? Here are a some fascinating facts about Earth Day that will inspire you to be a better global citizen.
The Earth should be protected every day, but people need to be inspired enough to take action. Whether it is due to famine, poverty, war, or just a lack of knowledge, for many people around the world, environmental protection is not a priority. But Earth Day works to change all that, and through global environmental campaigns and events, people get a chance to learn about the positive personal impacts they can make on the environment, and how it can better their lives, too.
Earth Day is right around the corner, so along with adopting your new recycling routine, try to look for ways to inspire positive environmental change in the world. In the meantime, check out these amazing facts about Earth Day for a little inspiration of your own.
1. It Was Created By A Wisconsin Senator
Initially founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was meant to be a national holiday, but grew to be celebrated worldwide by 1990, noted Earth Day Network. While Nelson had been advocating tirelessly for environmental reform and awareness for years, it was the devastating California oil spill of 1969 that sparked enough political movement for him to create a national day focused on environmental protection.
2. Earth Day Is Why The EPA Exists
Because of the collaborative efforts inspired by the first Earth Day in 1970, within the first year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created, explained Earth Day Network, along with the passing of environmental protection legislation including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
3. Earth Day Was Named By An Ad Executive
Although Earth Day was founded by Senator Nelson of Wisconsin, the name was actually coined by advertising executive, Julian Koenig, who was responsible for famous marketing catch phrases like “Timex, it takes a licking, but keeps on ticking”, explained NPR. Koenig, who’s name was even mentioned in an episode of Mad Men was an environmentalist himself, and he helped market Nelson’s efforts by branding the day with a catchy name, noted Allegheny Front.
4. Earth Day Is The Largest Secular Holiday On The Planet
It’s estimated that Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people worldwide, mentioned Green Geeks, making it the largest, most widely celebrated secular holiday in the world.
5. Over 20 Million People Showed Up To The First Earth Day Celebration
While Senator Nelson fought to found Earth Day in 1970, no one expected that 20 million people would come out and take part in the day’s activities, explained the EPA. They further noted that this overwhelming support from the masses led politicians to create and pass environmental protection legislation that is still used today.
6. The Date Was Purposefully Chosen
In order to gain traction from one of the most engaged and mobilized groups in the country — college students — Nelson’s campaign decided that Earth Day should fall on a day between final exams and spring break, noted Earth Day Network, making it more convenient for campuses to organize and participate.
7. There's A Theme For 2018
The message for Earth Day this year, according to the Earth Day Network, is to put an end to plastic pollution. They noted that the rapid growth of plastic is contributing to the disruption of human hormones, injuring and poisoning marine life, filling up landfills, and clogging up waste streams. This is why, for the future survival of the planet, they suggested using this Earth Day as an opportunity to learn how you can play a part in creating a future free of plastic pollution.
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