We have to love the Earth and protect it. Earth Day is a day early each year on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.
It all started in 1970 when Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, had the idea to create this amazing event.
According to earthday.org, Nelson was inspired by the student anti-war movement – he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
Therefore, he persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.
Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. The event gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Also, in 1995, the magnitude of the event prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.
Nowadays, Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. Moreover, the event is planned for April 22 in all years at least through 2015.
You are all invited to celebrate this day, every day. And most important, don’t ever forget to take care of our planet, is the only one we’ve got.