Finally the masses are getting it. Now we know ‘being ecological’ is not separate from business, or health, or community. But it is a part of everything we do.
The idea of a national Earth Day was first presented in 1969 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was inspired by the anti-Vietnam War teach-ins that occurred at college campuses across the country. Nelson advocated for a large-scale environmental demonstration that would catch the attention of the federal government.
That same year, during a UNESCO peace conference in San Francisco, activist John McConnell proposed a national Earth Day to the city’s Board of Supervisors. The proposal was received with much support and San Francisco declared an Earth Day Proclamation, soon gaining the support of international leaders such as UN Secretary General U Thant and writer Margaret Mead. The following year on April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million people across the country rallied in public celebration. The popularity of the annual event soon established the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and set emissions and efficiency standards for vehicles, banned the most lethal of insecticides and led to national legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Today, Earth Day is observed in over 180 countries and over a half billion people annually.