Each year, we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. Do you know why? Learn how Earth Day began and other fun facts about this nature-loving holiday:
- An Oil Spill Was the Impetus Behind Earth Day. After Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Democrat visited a California oil spill, he wanted to mobilize a grassroots movement to call attention to environmental issues. His idea spread and the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 with rallies in cities throughout the country.
- The EPA Was Created After the 1st Earth Day. An astonishing 20 million people participated in the first earth day. This apparently got legislators’ attention because by the end of the year, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Earth Day’s Gone Global. Once Earth Day was strictly an American holiday. In 1990, the holiday was recognized internationally with over one billion people celebrating it worldwide. In fact, it is the largest secular holiday in the world.
- Earth Day Has A New Name. While you won’t hear this name being used much in the US, the UN has renamed the holiday. As of 2009, Earth Day is officially known as International Mother Earth Day.
- Earth Day Is Important for Raising Awareness. The point of earth day is to help people realize the impact that they have on the planet. To that end, here are some startling statistics:
- Each year, there are 14,000,000,000 pounds of garbage thrown into the oceans which kills at least 1 million sea creatures annually.
- The average person throws away about 4 pounds of garbage a day and uses 12,000 gallons of water a year.
- Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to watch 3 hours of television.