Apr 18th, 2014
By now, you’ve surely heard of Earth Day, and even Earth Week. But how did this strange celebration of our planet start?
Over 4 decades ago, in 1969, plans for the first Earth Day started taking form. It was originally intended to be on March 21st, which is the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. The first person to propose an Earth Day was a peace activist named John McConnell. Later, it would come to be an effort on an international scale, organized by the Earth Day Network.
A month after the first Earth Day US Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed an additional day on April 22nd to celebrate the Earth and nature. In it’s first year over 12,000 schools, colleges, and other institutions participated in an attempt to bring about environmental reform and to protect our environment for future generations.
The event was participated in by major cities as well, including New York city. The mayor of New York city shut down parts of the city to celebrate the event, and event reserved all of Central Park for the festivities and demonstrations. Senator Nelson would be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts in years to come.
By 1990 Earth Day had snowballed into a global event, with people celebrating everywhere from small rural United States towns to the peak of Mt. Everest where a clean-up effort transported 2 tons of trash down the mountain.
Today Earth Day is bigger than ever, being celebrated in at least 192 countries and on all seven continents.
The best part is that YOU can get involved too! Check out this list of events for fun things you can do next week to get involved!