Grass Root Efforts Promote Earth DayFebruary 10, 2021
What is Earth Day?
Although you’ve probably heard the words “Earth Day,” did you know that there are two Earth Day observations? The United Nations celebrates the equinox; Every year on April 22, hundreds of countries celebrate Earth Day. Both events took place in 1969 with the participation of the masses, focusing on environmental awareness and the celebration of the Earth.
Events preceding Earth Day
Until 1970, conservatism was the idea of a minority of people. The idea that natural resources would be completely destroyed did not enter our collective thinking. Pollution caused by our buildings, cars and behavior was a normal byproduct of the industry. The idea of being the ruler of the world was related to the “hippie” mentality and was misunderstood by America’s prevailing tendency. Two previous events have changed our ecological consciousness: book and photography.
In 1962, marine biologist Rachel Carson published the book “Silent Spring.” The book focuses on toxic pesticides widely used in agriculture and in everyday life. The title speaks of the consequences of destructive pesticides: a world without birds. Surprisingly, Silent Spring was a success. Americans care, and they need facts.
In 1968, the world saw the whole Earth for the first time. Apollo astronauts photographed the planet from the moon during a return flight. The earth was beautiful with its blue and white curls. Photography has given rise to a startling realization that people consider the earth fragile and in need of human care.
Earth Day Was Born
In 1969, John McConnell promoted Earth Day as a worldwide celebration of the Earth’s gifts. The equinox seemed like a good time, as it was the middle of spring and autumn in all hemispheres. As a peace activist, McConnell first presented his Idea of Earth Day to an audience at the UNESCO Environment Conference. He wanted Earth Day to become a worldwide holiday, when the world celebrates the wonders and gifts of the Earth.
On March 21, 1970, cities around the world celebrated Earth Day. McConnell created the Earth Day proclamation, urging people to take action against global crises such as hunger, war and poverty. The proclamation also states that participants will celebrate International Earth Day to create a unique community and accept the gifts of the Earth. The proclamation was endorsed by well-known personalities and leaders from around the world: astronaut Buzz Aldrin, anthropologist Margaret Mead, scientist inventor Buckminster Fuller, Japanese environmental scientist Yu Fukushima, U.S. senators, U.N. President S.O. Adevo and UN Secretary General Tan.
In April 1970, the world celebrated another event – Earth Day. The April 22 event also began as a way to raise awareness of environmental issues. U.S. Senator and conservationist Gaylord Nelson traveled extensively throughout the United States in the mid-1960s with an environmental education program. Wanting the U.S. government to play an active role in solving environmental issues, Nelson proposed the idea of a national environmental trip to President Kennedy, who supported the idea. While President Kennedy’s trip did not turn environmental issues into regular discussions, it was the beginning of a shift in America’s role in environmental issues. Nelson was inspired by widespread protests or teachings on Vietnamese campuses. He believed the national lesson for environmentalists would draw more Americans to environmental issues.
Nelson presented his Earth Day idea to other government officials and news organizations. He promoted Earth Day to senators, governors, mayors and newspaper editors on college campuses. In November 1969, he officially announced that a nationwide environmental education event called Earth Day would be held in the spring of 1970. When the headlines came about the event, the audience responded with enthusiasm. Nelson was originally engaged in Earth Day public relations from his Senate office, but with great public interest the office moved into his own organization.
The first Earth Day was celebrated by about 20 million people. In America, participation was senior in schools, which attended ten thousand elementary and secondary schools, two thousand colleges. Surprising figures, given that the event began as a mass movement.
The power of the Earth Day movement was obvious to lawmakers. After the successful Earth Day, the U.S. government passed laws aimed at a cleaner life. The United States Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970. This was followed by the Clean Air Act with a focus on reducing air pollution, and the Clean Water Act did the same for water purification in 1972. The United States has also passed the Endangered Species Act to protect animals from extinction.
Ordinary Americans talked about recycling and conservation. In the 1980s, many people recycled recycling as part of their recycling programs. People’s awareness of their responsibility for the environment has become a part of their lives and actions. Children learned about the importance of caring for the environment; she learned to take care of the land and her animals. The famous Smokey Bear (created in the mid-1940s) was decorated with slogans such as “If not you, who?” and “Only you can prevent wildfires. We can’t.” It seemed that the Americans took on the role of earthly stewards.
In the 1990s, the total amount of waste reduced by 20 per cent through recycling programmes. When people and the government took responsibility, business followed suit. Manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce the amount of toxic by-products and be environmentally friendly to their customers. Their marketing campaigns focused on environmentally friendly actions such as reducing environmental waste.
Even with progressive responsibility, people did not celebrate Earth Day as at the beginning of the year. Celebrations always took place, but they were not so much visited and not announced. In 1990, the first Earth Day coordinator, Dennis Hayes, organized World Earth Day. To mark the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, Hayes organized a worldwide celebration with countries from all over the world.