40th Anniversary of Earth Day


What is Earth Day celebrating?

Earth Day is held on April 22 each year and marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. On April 22, 1970 twenty million Americans took to the streets and public areas to participate in teach-ins and show their support for a healthy environment. The demonstration was spearheaded by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, a Harvard University student.

Of great significance was the solidarity exhibited by varying groups and individuals that had previously been fighting for specific environmental causes (ranging from oil spills, to freeway construction, to the loss of wildlife) and the realization that they had shared values and great influence with a unified voice.

The 1970 demonstration has been credited with leading to the formation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the introduction of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

jetalone / Flickr

My, has it grown…

In 1990 Earth Day went global with 200 million people in 141 countries participating. The event has been credited with contributing to the success of the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The global scope and profile of Earth Day in 1990 helped many heads of state feel the pressure to participate. It was also attributed to giving a boost to recycling efforts.

2000 was another bombshell year for Earth Day, assisted considerably by access to the Internet. The focus was mainly on climate change and the push for clean energy. 5000 environmental groups from around the world participated and reached out to hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries.


sciondriver / Flickr

Earth Day 2010 is just around the corner

With the COP15 talks in Copenhagen recently coming to a close and more around the corner, as well as the G8 and G20 meetings taking place in Toronto in June, environment is top of mind. If you’re curious about Earth Day events taking place around the world, visit the web site of the Earth Day Network.

For Canada-based events (including Earth Week and Earth Month), and resources for planning your own Earth Day event, check out the Earth Day Canada web site.

And for all you bloggers out there, Bloggers Unite is promoting an Earth Day 2010 event.

General information on Earth Day is available from good ol’ Wikipedia.

Have Earth Day Plans?

fairwarepromo / Flickr

What is your company or organization doing for Earth Day? Post a comment and let us know. We love to hear from you!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out the AVEDA Earth Month campaign. Last year Fairware sourced stainless steel water bottles and recycled silicone wrist bands for AVEDA salons. These were sold to raise money for Earth Month causes. We’re working with AVEDA again this year. Stay tuned for campaign details.

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3 Responses to “40th Anniversary of Earth Day”

  1. vlectronica Says:

    hey! I’m looking at putting together a couple of PSAs for Earth Day 2010, can we connect, I’d like to document all of this and help make Earth Day 2010 as big as 1970, or 2000!


    -veronica reynolds
    veronica.reynolds at gmail dot com

  2. Fairware at the Olympics: Vancouver House « Product with Purpose – field notes from Fairware Says:

    […] Product with Purpose – field notes from Fairware field notes from fairware « 40th Anniversary of Earth Day […]

  3. mrsfrisbie Says:

    Great article! Our state parks in Pennsylvania are holding events all week such as educational talks and organized hiking events. I think I’ll do one of those this weekend. As for the 22nd, my family will keep the lights and TV off and try to be ultra-conservative about the energy we use.

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