The History of Earth Day

Earth_Day_2007_at_City_College_San_Diego_webEarth Day may be a commonly known special day now, but it was a new concept in 1970. The first celebration of Earth awareness helped birth the environmental movement in America and launched a new way of thinking for generations.

The founder of the event, Gaylord Nelson — a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin — felt an urging to make a difference after witnessing the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Nelson was inspired to appeal to an emerging collective concern with air and water pollution in the United States and create a movement that would stimulate interest in changing the way we view the environment.

During 1970, anti-war movements and protests had become common and Nelson sought to redirect the energy of activism that was already surging throughout America to a cause that everyone could get behind: Saving our own environment.

On April 22 that year, 20 million Americans demonstrated across the country. That historic first Earth Day saw people of all backgrounds put politics and personal agendas aside to join together for a common cause. Republicans and Democrats stood side by side, as well as farmers, laborers, rich people and poor people, friends and strangers. Demonstrators assembled in streets, parks, auditoriums and other locations with a common goal: To protest the misuse and deterioration of our environment.

What came out of that first demonstration? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. The voices of 20 million had been heard.

Twenty years later, in 1990, a new surge of interest in environmentalism brought a global expansion. That year, 200 million people worldwide in 141 different countries celebrated Earth Day. Recycling efforts were highlighted and in 2000, the Internet was first used to mobilize people to action.

Now, 44 years after that first demonstration, individuals and companies worldwide like Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) are working together to raise awareness and change our Earth for the better. Green building practices, recycling programs, and other environmental awareness strategies all work together for the goal of preserving our planet for our future generations.

SIG_at_GPCs_Earth_Day_Expo_2014Earth Week 2014 will be a busy one for the Sustainability Consultants and staff at SIG. On Monday, April 21st, Lyndsay Webb and Anna-Maria Romero represented SIG at Georgia Perimeter College’s Earth Day Expo at their Perimeter Campus.

Ashish Bagle will be in Alpharetta, GA participating in Sanctuary Park’s Earth Day celebration followed by helping with a waste audit at Mansell Overlook in Roswell in the afternoon. On Wednesday, April 23rd, Ashish will be presenting a Lunch & Learn event at Mansell Overlook in Roswell.

Monica Gonzalez and Jason Kiefer will be in San Francisco for One Market’s Earth Day Bonanza, which will include conducting an Occupant Comfort & Transportation Survey.

Asa Posner will be in New York City for two different Earth Week events, April 22nd he will be at 31 W. 52nd St., and on April 23rd he will be at 1633 Broadway.

Charlie Cichetti is also in New York City helping with the Earth day event at 31 W. 52nd St. and will be teaching a LEED GA Class at BOMA New York on Wednesday, April 23rd.

SIG invites you to do something extra green today to celebrate Earth Day: consider sharing a ride, planting a tree or using earth-friendly cleaning products to name just a few. To learn a few more green ideas, click here.

Happy Earth Day 2014 from all of us at SIG!