Earth Day Activities Worth Remembering

Looking for a list of memorable Earth Day activities?

Earth Day was first celebrated on 22nd April 1970 and not only was it one of the first green events in the world, it also became one of the most important.

Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator, the Earth Day was created to raise awareness about the environment and pollution. Inspired by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the anti-war movement, Gaylord Nelson decided that action needed to be taken in protection of the environment. The first Earth Day took the form of an environmental educational forum aired by the national media and focusing on environmental issues in the United States.

That year, the first of many significant Earth Day activities took place, as 20 million Americans united to demand new environmental policies. In universities, streets and parks all over the country, protests were held against the worsening of the environment. In New York alone, the Fifth Avenue was closed and the Central Park was made available for a crowd of one million protesters. The first Earth Day was extensively covered by the media, mainly in New York. As a result of this first mass protest, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created and the Endangered Species, Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed.

Since then, the original coordinator of Earth Day, Denis Hayes, and his team, had taken the event beyond the boundaries of US. For the first time, in 1990, the Earth Day left the United States and went global. With much better marketing tools and strategies and much more money, the organizers took Earth Day activities to 141 countries and 200 million people.

Several activities were promoted all around the world but perhaps one of the most significant was the The Earth Day 20 Peace Climb, an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest led by the American climber, Jim Whittaker. Members of the expedition team included climbers from the Soviet and China, thus making this event the first time that mountaineers from the three countries climbed together. Besides climbing the mountain, the expedition team also cleaned up around two tons of garbage left behind by previous expeditions. The Peace Climb culminated in a live satellite phone call made by the climbers to President George Bush and to the Earth Day organization where they expressed their commitment and support for global peace and environmental protection.

The support shown by the masses during the Earth Day 1990 events pressurized many state leaders to participate in the subsequent United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeior, where environmental issues like reducing climate change, conserving wildlife and increasing the rate of recycling worldwide were discussed.

The year 2000 saw the Earth Day being organized and broadcasted via the world wide web. More than 5,000 environmental groups joined hands and brought the Earth Day to 184 countries. Hundreds of millions of people celebrated and participated in Earth Day activities all over the world. Earth Day 2000 featured a great celebration of its 30th birthday at the National Mall in Washington, where several thousands of people gathered in a festival of speeches and songs led by Leonardo DiCaprio and opened by Al Gore.

Earth Day 2000 focused on substantially increasing energy efficiency in the various sectors, such as residential, transportation, commercial and industrial. It also sought to promote the development and efficient use of renewable energy, at the same time hasten the phasing out of fossil fuels and nuclear fuels.

In 2010, Earth Day activities returned to the National Mall where more that two hundred thousand people came together in a rally to raise awareness about environmental issues like global warming. The “One Billion Acts of Green” and the “One Million Tree Planting” initiatives were announced.

In 2011, more Earth Day activities are planned all around the world to celebrate the “greenest” day of the year. Read more about these earth day events planned for 2011.

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