US Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day on 22nd April 1970. On the first Earth Day 20-million Americans protested calling for an end to actions that resulted in the deterioration of the environment, calling instead for sustainable practices. The outcome was fantastic in that the US Environmental Protection Agency was established & the Clean Air, Clean Water & Endangered Species Acts were passed in parliament. The first Earth Day is seen as the start of the modern day environmental movement.
In 1990 Earth Day was taken global. 200-million people in 141 countries participated. This time the outcome was recycling was taken seriously across the globe.
The first UN Earth summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 1995 President Bill Clinton presented Earth Day founder, Senator Gaylor Nelson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On Earth Day 2000, the focus was on global warming & clean energy. 5,000 environmental groups in 184 countries participated.
On Earth Day 2010, 225,000 people attended a Climate Rally at the National Mall in the US. Also, James Cameron, the director of the movie Avatar, launched a 1-million global tree planting initiative as part of ‘A Billion Acts of Green’ campaign. The goal of planting 1-million trees has already been reached with 31,000 people planting over 1-million trees in 16 countries. Earth Day established the Canopy Project & all trees planted will be counted in the UN’s Billion Tree Campaign that aims to plant 1-billion trees across the world. Landcare volunteers in Australia participated in this.
The Billion Acts of Green has a participatory website where individuals or organizations can pledge to do one or more ‘acts of green.’ There are ready-made choices to select or you can elect to write your own. The pledges get listed on the website. At the time of writing 72,358,011 pledges to do something green for the environment were listed. That is phenomenal interest from the community. http://act.earthday.org/
This is a really creative Earth Day video made by Greenpeace. The message is the same even though it is 1-year-old. 90-seconds – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep9MFiWXR8M&feature=related
This is a 3-minute video that explains why deforestation is a global problem -http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oSKSZlUYtnc
My act of green will be to use the car less & walk more. Happy Earth Day.