Earth Day: The Evolution of an Idea to a Global Holiday

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The first Earth Day event started in 1970 in the US, and over the past decades, it has been embraced by almost all the countries in the world.

Now, Earth Day is a global event, which is celebrated on 22 April. Each year has a theme and this year’s Earth Day is going to focus on plastic pollution and how to put an end to it.

Even though 50 years ago this wasn’t considered an issue and smokestacks meant economic prosperity, the public soon was going to be aware of environmental issues.

A Day For the Environment

It started in 1969, after a massive oil spill in California, having a great impact on the ecosystem and on humans too. As a result, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, had an idea. He thought we should designate a day to focus on the environment. He was inspired by the damages caused by the oil spill and by the anti-Vietnam War student movement. Both rural and urban communities supported him and so, the first Earth Day was publicized.

The first event had 20 million Americans outside, peacefully demonstrating how you can led a healthy life and focus on sustainability. It was the moment when people found out more about oil spills, factory emissions, toxic waste, and extinction.

Earth Day led to the creation of Environmental Protection Agency and legislation: Clean Air, Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Acts.

Later, in 1990, Earth Day was celebrated by over 200 million people in 140 countries, boosting the effort of recycling all over the world.

Celebrating Earth Day in 2018

Every year since it became a global event, Earth Day is celebrated by over 1 billion people from 192 countries. The event is organized worldwide by a nonprofit organization from Washington, D.C – Earth Day Network. According to the organization, this year’s theme is plastic pollution. People around the world learn how to reuse and recycle plastic or just how to live without it and find environment-friendly alternatives.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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