22 Totally Green Facts about Earth Day
Earth Day 2012 is on Sunday 22 April. More than any other time of the year, it’s a time to go green. Here are 22 interesting and fun facts about Earth Day.
- Earth Day is the world’s largest civic observance, with more than 1 billion participants worldwide.
- The first Earth Day was held on 22 April, 1970. The day was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, inspired by anti-war protests and appalled at a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969.
- The date was chosen to avoid conflict with other holidays. However, Arbor Day falls on April 22 in Nebraska.
- Another reason for the choice is that the date is the official first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.
- More than 20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day.
- The movement brought together a range of groups who had been fighting separate battles on different environmental issues.
- One of the names considered for Earth Day was the National Environmental Teach-In (you can see why they went with Earth Day!)
- The first Earth Day in Canada was held in September 1980. It now takes place on April 22.
- Earth Day went global in 199o, putting environmental issues in the spotlight in 141 countries.
- 200 million people took part in Earth Day 1990.
- The 1990 Earth Day led to the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
- President Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 for founding Earth Day.
- Earth Day 2000 focused on global warming and clean energy. It used ancient (talking drums) and modern technology (the Internet) to reach global citizens.
- 5,000 environmental groups in 184 countries took part in Earth Day 2000; the global audience was estimated in the hundreds of millions.
- The Earth Day Network works with 22,000 partners in 192 countries.
- In 2011, the Earth Day Network launched A Billion Acts of Green, with the goal of measuring 1 billion eco-friendly actions before the Rio Earth Summit this year. At the time of writing, 40 million actions had been registered.
- The Environmental Protection Agency is running several initiatives for Earth Day 2012, including urging participants to pick 5 eco-friendly actions to commit to, and a photo project.
- April 22 is also International Mother Earth Day, an observance established by the United Nations in 2009.
- At the United Nations Earth Day celebrations include ringing the Peace Bell. The bell is made from coins donated by school children to promote world peace.
- The world’s first national park was Yellowstone, established in 1872.
- St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of ecology.
- Paper is the item most discarded; Americans use about 600 pounds of paper per year per person.
Want more green resources? Check out some of our previous posts on environmental issues:
- 14 Totally Green Travel Tips & EcoTourism Resources
- So You Wanna Have A Green Vacation?
- A Greener Airport
- Low Green Grades For Airlines
From now until June 20, 2012, pre-book 3 days or more of airport parking and you’ll save an additional 15%. (See full T&Cs) Simply book online using the coupon code SAVEONGAS.
Image: NASA Goddard Photo and Video