1. It Is the Largest Secular Holiday in the World
It is the largest secular holiday in the world. The Earth Day Network works with over 20,000 organizations in 192 countries to coordinate events just for this day. Over a billion people take part in Earth Day activities of some kind all over the world.
2. It Started Nationally and Then Grew Into an International Phenomenon
While Earth Day began in the U.S. on April 22, 1970, it did not go international until 1990. It started out with 200 million people in 141 countries and eventually grew to the massive proportions mentioned above.
3. We Can Thank Earth Day for Bringing Us the EPA
The first Earth Day helped push important environmental legislation in the United States. Later in the same year of the first Earth Day ever, the 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act were passed.
4. It Birthed the Environmental Movement
One of the most important and long lasting Earth Day facts is that the environmental movement was born with the creation of Earth Day in 1970.
5. It Brought Greenery to Barren Lands
Afghanistan is known for being a barren and foreboding land with less vegetation than more hospitable areas. In honor of Earth Day in 2011, 28 million trees were planted in this country through the actions of the Earth Day Network.
6. It Changed People’s Thinking in Their Daily Decisions
Earth Day has helped make concern for the environment a priority in how people live their own lives. People are more predisposed to use recyclable materials that won’t end up on a landfill, and the financial and practical impediments to widespread adoption of electric vehicles versus their conventional counterparts is overlooked by many mainly for environmental reasons.
7. Founded by a Wisconsin Senator
Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. His work for the environment also included a stint as counselor for The Wilderness Society starting in 1981. In 1995, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his environmental work by Bill Clinton.
8. Education Was and Still Is the Goal
This now worldwide event began as a teach-in about environmental issues when it started in the United States. This may be why 2,000 colleges along with 10,000 primary and secondary schools participated in the first one.
9. Earth Day’s Organizers Provide Tools to Help You Do Your Part
The Earth Day Network’s EnergyCenter enables people to reduce their personal greenhouse gas emissions. It helps them calculate their current usage and gives tips on how to reduce their carbon footprint.
10. NASA Helping Out on Earth Day
In 2014, NASA took an active part in Earth Day. Their #GlobalSelfie event asked people to take a photo of themselves outside, and send it to NASA. The space agency then put these pictures on a map of the world for all to see to commemorate their participation in this important day.
A Day to Embrace!
Participation in Earth Day shows you care about the world on which you live. Like it or not, there is currently no other planet that our species can move to if we mess this one up. Planting trees, cleaning coral reefs, collecting trash and taking other social or political action to ensure our progeny continue to have a habitable planet to call home.
Happy Earth Day!
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