The History Behind Earth Day


Earth Day is designated as a day to speak out about environmental issues as well as volunteer to better community spaces.

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

Over the decades, the fight for climate justice has increased exponentially. Protests, news coverage and government recognition have led to mainstream knowledge that if the world does not work to find solutions, the earth could face major consequences. That being said, with modern day doomsayers trying to convince people that the world is ending, it is important to know where the climate movement started. 

The very first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and mainstream interest in climate activism began. 

Before the Earth Day idea came into fruition the American people were overconsuming fossil fuels and using harsh chemicals without realizing the consequences of this unrestricted use. With rivers lighting on fire and mass amounts of wildlife taking ill due to poor agricultural practices, many realized that change needed to happen. 

Several senators along with climate activists were inspired by the anti-war movement that was emerging due to the Vietnam War. They hoped to create an event with the energy of the war effort but centered around pollution. While they initially planned on simply doing college teach-ins, the event turned national. Americans took Earth Day as an opportunity to protest what corporations had been doing to the earth since the beginning of industrialization. 

Earth Day was able to shed major light on the environmental havoc the world was causing and in turn, before the end of 1970, the government was forced to take action. The United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed which led to a slew of bills that were sent throughout the senate and house, one that might sound familiar is the Clean Air Act. 

By 1990 Earth Day was honored by 141 countries and had moved environmental change to the front of the stage.

While some people are still hesitant about the truth of the climate crisis,  Earth Day is celebrated by billions, creating a day of service around the world. 

While it may seem like an inconsequential day of service, Earth Day has caused a massive climate movement involving people of the world and legislative change. 

It may be hard to get away from work or school but I recommend that everyone try to do something to honor Earth Day. Whether that be a volunteer project, signing a petition or reading an article it is still a way to learn and support the climate movement. 


The History of Earth Day