Many consider April 22, 1970, to be the day that the modern environmental movement was born – it is the birthday of Earth Day. This year is the 50th anniversary, so we at Rocket Yard decided to expand our scope and recognize Earth Day all week. An “Earth Week” if you will.
OWC is very proud of its environmental initiatives, so we will be posting something “green” every day. We believe that environmental stewardship is not only the right thing to do for future generations but also makes good economic sense. But before we jump into how OWC is doing its part, we’ll begin with a little Earth Day history.
A Brief History of Earth Day
It’s hard to believe that in 1970, there was no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act, and no EPA. Factories could belch smoke into the air and dump toxic sludge into waterways without consequence. This began to change when Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson, created Earth Day as a way to force these issues onto the national agenda.
It was wildly successful. 20 million Americans (10% of the U.S. population) were inspired to take to the streets, gather on campuses, and fill auditoriums to demonstrate against the destructive impact that 150 years of industrialization had had on the nation. There was broad united support for the efforts of that first Earth Day. Efforts that Republicans and Democrats, business owners and laborers, city-folk and farmers, rich and poor, could all get around. By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was born.
In a 1980 EPA Journal article, Nelson writes, “It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources. That day left a permanent impact on the politics of America. It forcibly thrust the issue of environmental quality and resources conservation into the political dialogue of the Nation. That was the important objective and achievement of Earth Day. It showed the political and opinion leadership of the country that the people cared, that they were ready for political action, that the politicians had better get ready, too.”
In 1990, Earth Day went global. Over 200 million people in 141 countries joined the ranks of those already lifting environmental concerns to communities and governments. Today, more than one billion people in 191 countries are involved in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.
Climate Action is the theme of Earth Day 2020. Focussing on the “The Great Global Cleanup,” individuals and groups commit to clearing trash from cities and countrysides world-wide. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, it has been postponed until a later date. EarthDay.org still hopes it will be the largest volunteer event in history.
Earth Week 2020 @ OWC
• Day 1 – The Birthday of Earth Day
• Day 2 – OWC’s Rich History of Sustainable Business Practices
• Day 3 – OWC Celebrates Earth Day’s 50th With Continued Green Leadership
• Day 4 – OWC Supports Projects Promoting Environmental Awareness