Earth Day Gifts / February 23, 2019 / Cindy Navarro
Approximately 20 million people celebrated the first Earth Day. In America participation was high in schools which ten thousand grade schools and high schools two thousand colleges participating. Amazing numbers considering the event started as a grassroots movement. Government Actions The strength of the Earth Day movement was clear to legislatures. Following Earth Day s success the U.S. government passed laws that targeted cleaner living. In 1970 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established. The Clean Air Act followed with a focus on reducing air pollution with the Clean Water Act doing likewise for water clean-up in 1972. The U.S. also passed the Endangered Species Act to protect animals from extinction.
The proclamation also stated that participants would celebrate an international Earth Day to create a single community and embrace Earth s gifts. The proclamation was endorsed by well-known people and leaders around the world: astronaut Buzz Aldrin anthropologist Margaret Mead inventor-scientist Buckminister Fuller Japanese environmental scientist Y. Fukushima American senators U.N. President S.O. Adebo and UN Secretary-General Thant. In April of 1970 the world celebrated another Earth Day event. The April 22nd event also began as a way to spread awareness of environmental issues. American Senator and conservationist Gaylord Nelson had actively toured the U.S. in the mid 1960 s with an environmental awareness agenda.
Manufacturers looked at ways to reduce toxic by-products and appear environmentally responsible to their customers. Their marketing campaigns highlighted eco-friendly actions like reducing environmental waste. Resurgence Even with progressive responsibility people did not celebrate Earth Day as they had in the beginning year. Celebrations were still held but they weren t as widely attended or announced. In 1990 the original Earth Day coordinator Dennis Hayes organized a worldwide Earth Day. For the thirtieth anniversary of Earth Day Hayes planned for a global celebration with participation from countries around the world.