Earth Day 2018
Earth Day 2018 will be observed on Sunday, April 22.
When do we celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day is celebrated on the same date – April 22 – of every year. Earth Day was first observed in 1970 in the United States, stemming from the counterculture of the 1960s and the desire to raise the public’s awareness of environmental issues.
There are two main theories as to why April 22 was chosen as Earth Day. April 22 was the date on which Arbor Day was observed. Arbor Day celebrates the importance of trees, thus creating a natural tie-in for the observance of Earth Day.
It is also said that April 22 was chosen as the date for Earth Day as the event was originally conceived of as a “national teach-in for the environment”. Across the country, students at universities were called to action in protests and rallies. April 22 fell between spring break and final exams.
Why do we celebrate Earth Day?
In the 1960s, Americans became aware of the negative impact of industrial pollution on the earth. In 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced the concept of Earth Day which finally provided a platform for Americans to convey their concerns. The response was spectacular as over 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day. It served to drastically raise and change public awareness of environmental issues.
The formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December 1970 marked a pivotal outcome of the movement. Important laws such as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts were passed. In 1990, Earth Day became celebrated around the world with 200 million people in 141 countries participating. Today over 190 countries observe Earth Day. Find out more about how the Earth Day Network organizes these global events.
Every year Earth Day serves as a reminder for citizens of the world to be politically and socially aware of the importance of respecting the environment. Common activities include:
- planting trees
- picking up trash at beaches
- choosing to ride a bicycle rather than drive
- educating others on the importance of environmental conservation