PENNSYLVANIA, USA — In the days, years, and decades ahead of the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming large amounts of gasoline and fossil fuels.
Businesses were able to emit plumes of smoke into the atmosphere with almost no fear of government intervention or ramifications.
Most of Americans at this time turned a blind eye to the environmental effects and how that, in turn, can affect humans. This was until a junior Senator from Wisconsin came along and injected energy into the environmental movement.
The first Earth day was celebrated in 1970, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin started Earth Day in order to garner attention to the matters of environmental science and conservation.
That same year, Earth Day received major support from both Republicans and Democrats, and by the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the birth of the EPA.
In 1990, Earth Day became a worldwide celebration.
So, why is Earth day important?
Earth Day is almost universally recognized as one of the largest observances on the planet, with more than a billion people participating worldwide.
According to earthday.org, the goal is simple: “To change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.”
Earth Day is more than just trying to create policy changes. It’s also meant as a day for people to enjoy and celebrate our planet’s clean natural resources!
The theme for this year's Earth Day is “Invest in Our Planet.”
With that being said, what can you do to celebrate Earth Day?
Here are some fun ways:
- Walk or bike to school if possible: it’s good for the body and the environment!
- Donate to an environmental non-profit organization.
- Plant a garden outside your home, or plant a container garden.
- Pack a picnic and take yourself on an outing with the planet.
- Create recycling bins.
For more information on Earth Day, you can visit the EPA's website here.