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What is Earth Day and How Was it Started?

Updated on April 18, 2009

April 22, 1970 was the very first Earth Day - a day to work towards protecting our environment. It has grown tremendously and is now often celebrated for the week. Earth day was founded by Gaylord Nelson who was a United States Senator from Wisconsin. He wanted to form a protest that would shake up the nation. In 1970 the nation was not environmentally friendly in the least and Nelson wanted to change that. Factories prided themselves in the pollution they created and cars guzzled gasoline like it was going out of style. Something had to change.

On April 22, 1970 there were rallies and protests held nationwide and a total of 20 million people participated. Anyone who thinks that one person can't change the world is wrong and Gaylord Nelson proved that. His movement gained the support of both Democrats and Republicans and the very first Earth Day resulted in the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency and led to several acts to help the environment being passed. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act all were a result of Earth Day.

Because of one man we now have a much better environment to live in. Our planet's resources are not being depleted as quickly as they were decades ago. What started as a national movement went global in 1990 and now people all over the world celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day is an extremely important day as it reminds and encourages people all over to live a greener lifestyle. There have been so many incredible changes that have come from Earth Day and the attention that Nelson called to many unhealthy practices.

Think of how many people now choose not to waste things that several decades ago were taken for granted. Think of the positive impact Earth Day has had on our cities. Pollution is now greatly reduced due to regulations that came about as a result of Earth Day. Our rivers, lakes and streams are much cleaner and healthier for fish and other animals to live in our drink.

Earth Day is again approaching - have you thought about what you are going to do to celebrate it? You could plant a shade tree and eventually reduce your heating and cooling costs by 40%. You could clean up a local park. You could park your car for the day and reduce your carbon footprint by 20 pounds for every gallon of gas you save. You can switch four light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent and save $100 a year while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 5000 pounds. So what are you going to do to celebrate Earth Day and help the planet?


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    • novascotiamiss profile image


      7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      I've circled Earth day on my agenda and will celebrate it as if it were my mother's birthday. After all, we are talking of mother earth. Thanks for letting us know where it all stems from. Hopefully the movement will grow.

    • profile image

      Sushil lama 

      7 years ago

      Good to hear that every one planting trees for the enviroment changes. But planting in every earth day is very bad, we should plant trees every time every moment when we get time. then we will gain changes.

    • muley84 profile image

      Michael A Muehleisen 

      9 years ago from Miami,FL

      I am old enough to remember the first Earth Day, we celebrated it when I was a high school freshman. I am glad to see it is still relevant.

    • Guardian1 profile image


      9 years ago

      I really like the tone of your writing. So many hubs, you've clearly had a lot of practice. :-) You're right, it doesn't make sense not to be actively "green" to some extent when it will help the planet while simultaneous lowering your cost of everyday living. Great hub.

    • amjadbhatti profile image


      9 years ago

      v best hub

    • fergie9 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub. Everyone should read this and take part in Earth Day. My daughters school really goes out on this day. Each class plants a tree seed at various places.

    • Raj kamal profile image

      Raj kamal 

      9 years ago from Guntur, A.P., India

      Thanks for an enlightening hub. I think we all should contribute to the Earth Day. We will be planting trees on that day.


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