Earth Day 50th Anniversary

When is Earth Day & Why?

April 22nd, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day took place on April 22nd, 1970 in an effort to promote consciousness of the state of our planet and the effects of environmental pollution in the lives of humans around the globe. Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the effects of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California  and inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that combining the anti-war protests with increasing environmental consciousness, environmental protection could become more mainstream. 

What is Earth Day & Why Is It Important?

Recruiting a small team, he pushed the idea of Earth Day to the national media and eventually grew a staff to promote the event across the country. By the time April 22, 1970 came around, 20 million Americans came out to demonstrate for a healthier, sustainable planet for themselves and future generations. By the end of the year, the first Earth Day movement led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts. 

Earth Day Then & Earth Day 2020

  • Earth Day 1990 – Twenty years later, on April 22, 1990, Earth Day went global, in 141 countries and with 200 million citizens around the world campaigning for a healthier planet.
  • Earth Day 2000 – Ten years later, on Earth Day 2000, citizens leveraged the power of the rising Internet to mobilize and push for cleaner energy standards and recognize global warming trends. In total, 184 countries and hundreds of millions of people around the globe participated.
  • Earth Day 2010 – By 2010, the Earth Day Network launched its plant a tree campaign, The Canopy Project, and launched its Billion Acts of Green initiative, the world’s largest environmental service project.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people globally and is promoted as a day of action to not only beautify our planet but to provoke conscious discussion and environmental policy changes. 

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