Earth Day has been happening for 50 years now. That’s right, in 1970 is when it all started, and it happens on the same day every year. April 22nd. It all began because of an oil spill in 1969. Senator Nelson worried that environmental issues were not being addressed in the political arena, especially after he witnessed the aftermath of a California oil spill in 1969. He was inspired by Vietnam War protests to organize a nationwide demonstration to promote conservation involvement and awareness. And Earth Day was born.
Here are more fun facts about Earth Day.
- Earth Day started in the USA but expanded globally in 1990.
- Did you know that Earth Day isn’t just known as Earth Day? Some countries call it ‘International Mother Earth Day’. This has only been since 2009 when the United Nations named it that.
- Earth Day is Worldwide and is the Largest Secular Observance in the World. Over 190 Countries take part in Earth Day. Pretty cool, considering there are 195 countries in the world!
- The very first Earth Day sparked an environmental movement and led to the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later that year.
- Earth Day also influenced the passing of environmental legislation like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Education Act, and more
- On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.
- Earth Day has its own theme song. The Earth Day Anthem was written in 2013 by Indian poet Abhay Kumar, and has since been recorded in all official UN languages.
- Each year, the Earth Day theme changes.In 1990, the spotlight was on global mobilization of environmental issues with a strong focus on recycling. In 2000 it was about global warming and clean energy. 2010 marked the world's largest environmental service project—A Billion Acts of Green—as well as a 250,000 person climate change rally in Washington, D.C. The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth,which is intended to be a reminder that while we want to protect our planet, we all also need a healthy Earth to support our lives, health, and survival.
- On Earth Day in 2011, people planted 28 million trees in Afghanistan as part of a “Plant Trees Not Bombs” campaign
- Nearly 90 percent of all plastic waste ever created by humans is still in the environment. Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.
Learn more about Once Kids Mission and how we are dedicated to protecting our environment for years to come.
Sources: Parents, Real Simple, DoSomething.org, Parade, National Geographic