Happy Earth Day! The holiday was created to celebrate everything that we’re given and to help us recognize the importance of environmental preservation, which you know we love. But did you know that Earth Day as a concept is less than 100 years old? It wasn’t too long ago that we took all this natural beauty for granted…
In 1969, two important events led to the creation of Earth Day. In January, Santa Barbara, California had the largest oil spill to that date, plastering the beaches black with dead marine life and birds covered in oil. In June, the oil-ridden Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire and was the center of media attention. With these in mind and the added energy from anti-war protests at the time, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin turned attention to the well-being of our planet.
Thanks to Nelson, the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 to highlight the pressing issues that our environment was facing. It gathered national attention, with 20 million Americans participating in rallies, teach-ins, and clean up efforts from coast to coast. This movement created real change, making this time period home to the most environmental legislation passed in the nation's history, and created the Environmental Protection Agency!
Since then, by the efforts of people just like you and me, we have made big strides for the planet, creating laws that help stop deforestation, protect communities from pollution, manage various industries, and much more. It’s inspiring to see how much positive change can come from people coming together, sharing knowledge, and demanding more for ourselves and the planet.
Today serves as a celebration of what we can achieve and a reminder of the work we have to continue. Try to spend a little extra time outside today, and take an extra step to protect the beautiful planet we call home.