Earth Day 2021

On Thursday 22nd we celebrated Earth Day and I would love to hear what you all got up to.

I started doing some research into how Earth day began and was really interested by what I found.

In the years leading up to the first Earth day in 1970, mainstream America was mostly oblivious of the consequences that come with burning fossil fuels. However, a junior senator, Gaylord Nelson, from Wisconsin, had been aware of the environmental issue for a long time. Inspiration for the first Earth day came when he witnessed a large oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969. Senator Nelson decided to do a tech-in on college campuses, and with the help of Republican Congressman, Pete McCloskey, and young activist, Denis Hayes, they chose to organise the event on April 22nd, as it fell between Spring Break and Final Exams.

Realising how this event could inspire more Americans to develop eco-friendly habits, Senator Nelson built a national staff of 85 and included various organisations to gain publicity. When the name was changed to Earth Day, the media quickly showed interest. Earth Day initially inspired 20 million Americans to attend organised protests or other events, demonstrating the harmful impacts of industrial development on the environment.

In 1990, Earth Day spread to 200 million people in 141 different countries making climate change a more well known global issue. The next year Senator Nelson was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being the founder of Earth Day.

Today, Earth Day is an important worldwide event, what did you do?