How Earth Day Came To Be

Our planet has all the resources for us to survive, and as far as science has been able to tell us, there’s not quite any other planet like Earth. As it’s habitants, it’s our duty to protect the only home we’ve got. Frankly, we’re doing a terrible job. There’s trash everywhere, mostly at the bottom of the ocean. Because of industrialization, there’s an excess of carbon dioxide. It’s polluting the air we breathe and breaking the ozone layer. In various countries there’s the matter of deforestation that leads to the destruction a vital element for our surviving: the trees. We are destroying the only place that we have and many people are blind to see it. That was one of the worries of Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator in the ‘70s and from the worry, he created Earth Day.


(Santa Barbara Oil Spillage in 1969)


After the oil spillage in Santa Barbara in 1969, Gaylord Nelson, a former Wisconsin U.S. Senator, decided to promote a day where people started to be more conscious with our actions and the consequences to the our planet. Motivated by the anti-war movement and rallies, he concluded that if he use that same spirit and dedication, maybe the people will also advocate for the end of air and water pollution, or at least reducing it, creating a political agenda to protect the environment. Nelson worked with congressman Pete McCloskey and with Denis Hayes, who played an important part of the holiday. In the end, he recruited approximately a staff of 80 people that will help organize the event. The committee decided that the official day of Earth Day will be between Spring Brake and Final Exams: April 22.


In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated and everybody supported it. Various universities started to advocate against the deterioration of the environment. Many groups that protested against oil spillage, toxic dump, etc., saw that they were part of great movement. At the end of the year, Earth Day was such a success that it lead to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency with the purpose of protecting the environment and the human health by creating federal laws. Here they try ensure that people have clean water and air, or check for chemicals in the marketplace are safe for society. They also pass the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, where it helps more the well being of Planet Earth.



After 1970 Earth Day, the people celebrated the event every decade, focusing in protecting the earth and all the environment but Senator Nelson thought that a decade was too much a gap to create a conscious mind in the people. That’s when in Earth Day 1990, Nelson decided that the holiday will be celebrated every year. Years later, the page was created to teach the people about the mission of that day and how we can help to create a better future for the next generations.


The Earth is dying and we need to protect it. It’s a reminder that the Earth isn’t just a planet that we can waste and suction the goods, but a home, not only for us, the humans, but for the animals and all livings things. We need to care for it and be more conscious of our actions because every action has a consequence. We need to try and clean the beaches, use reusable bottles to reduce the use of plastic. It’s our job to care for the planet and if we work together, maybe there will be a better future for our precious home. Maybe, we can see clean rivers and green forest, animals prancing or running by the trees. If we care for our planet, maybe we can see nature in all her glory.



Image Credits: 1, 2, 3