What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event to celebrate the planet that sustains us. Every year people organize activities to show their support for environmental protection in more than 192 countries worldwide. Currently international events are coordinated by the UN and the Red Earth Day (Earth Day Network).

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 each year. When Earth Day falls on a weekday, major events such as festivals and events are held the weekend before or after 22 April. In addition to the Earth Day, in some places people celebrate Earth Week or Earth Month by organizing more activities related to conservation throughout the month of April. The last Saturday of March, Earth Hour is celebrated at 8:30 pm (local time), when millions of people around the world turn off the lights for one hour to show they care about the future of our planet.

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, in the United States. The idea was a US Senator Gaylord Nelson called. Several events contributed to the creation of this festive day dedicated to the environment

In 1962 he published the famous book by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (Silent Spring), revealing the serious consequences of chemicals to the environment and public health. free download the complete book (PDF)

The Vietnam War caused a progressive and peaceful movement in the American public, especially among college students. Although the focus of the protests had little to do with the environment, Senator Gaylord Nelson saw the possibility of directing the passion of the public towards a national awareness of all environmental damages that go unnoticed.

In 1969 there was a huge oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Seeing the destruction caused, Senator Nelson began to put together a team of 85 people, headed by Denis Hayes, to help promote events related to environmental protection throughout the country.

As a result, the first Earth Day – the April 22, 1970 – was celebrated by 20 million Americans. Thousands of universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Conservation groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories, hazardous pesticides, habitat loss and other environmental problems came together to resist industrial abuses. Millions of individuals and families took to the streets and parks to show that the planet’s future care.

The first Earth Day in 1970 achieved a special political cooperation: he enjoyed the support of both political parties, rich and poor, urban and rural people. The great show of support of the first Earth Day led to the creation of the Agency for Environmental Protection of the USA. UU., And the adoption of new laws to protect air, water and endangered species (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act).

In 1990, several environmentalists asked the help of Denis Hayes to organize a global campaign to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our Mother Earth. On this occasion the International Earth Day featured the participation of 200 million people in 141 countries. This event increased recycling efforts worldwide and was part of the reason for the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 (Rio Declaration on Environment and Development). Since then, Earth Day has been celebrated around the world. Gaylord Nelson in 1995 was awarded by President Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for founding Earth Day.

The purpose of Earth Day is to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote environmental protection. Apart from participating in community events that exist in your city, you can celebrate Earth Day individual or family.