The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a "national teach-in on the environment" to the national media;
persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. "It was a gamble," Gaylord recalled, "but it worked."
On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)-the highest honor given to civilians in the United States-for his role as Earth Day founder.
Earth Day Today
As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. Earth Day 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a First Amendment Rally. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.
Data Source:The History of Earth Day | Earth Day Network
You and I can practice the 75 ways of loving the earth
The earth's environment has been severely damaged. For the sake of happiness of our descendants, the following are some specific practices in daily life. As long as everyone is willing to put it into practice, millions of people will accumulate amazing results, and save the earth starting from everyone's daily living.
1. Clean the home environment regularly, do not use chemical cleaners, pesticides.
2. Use natural products such as lemon and charcoal to eliminate odors, without chemical aromatics.
3. When the tableware is not very greasy, it is washed with warm water to reduce the use of detergent, or using the natural dishwashing powder.
4. Indoor and outdoor plants can decrease the temperature of the environment and reduce the use of fan and air conditioning.
5. Household appliances need regular maintenance and cleaning, (especially the air conditioner), to reduce power consumption.
6. Choose electrical appliances with good energy efficiency (refer to the energy saving standard label).
7. Use as little as possible non essential electrical appliances.
8. Try to replace air conditioner with an electric fan.
9. Placing the refrigerator in cool corner without direct sunlight saves electricity, and close the refrigerator door as soon as possible.
10. Do not store too much food in the refrigerator to save electricity and reduce the risk of food poisoning.
11. Use fluorescent lamp and energy saving light bulb. In daytime, draw the curtain up to minimize turning on electric light.
12. When leaving the room and office, turn off the lights and air conditioners, turn off the computer when not in used.
13. Wear more clothes in cold weather, so not to turn the home radiator (electric heater) unless necessary.
14. Accumulate clothes to wash saves water, electricity and time.
15. Use shower more often than the tub to save water.
16. Use pressure cooker or slow cooker saves energy and time for better preservation of nutrients.
17. Cook by steaming, boiling and frying can save gas and fuel.
18. Use cloth for cleaning kitchen as much as possible, reduce the use of paper towels.
19. Try not to cook too much food to avoid waste.
20. Keep food in sealed boxes or bottles, try to use less of plastic wrap.
21. Buy goods that can be properly packed with recyclable materials and resist buying over packaged products.
22. Do not buy Ivory chopsticks, rhinoceros horns or products from other rare animals.
23. Expired drugs should be recycled through the proprietary pipeline, and food residual should be put into the food waste recycle bucket.
24. Purchase white toilet paper to reduce the pollution of dye.
25. Use electric razor to minimize the use of disposable blade.
26. Use more of natural material furniture and less plastic or artificial fiber.
27. Choose durable furniture and style that will not be out of date to minimize unnecessary purchase and replacement for new furniture.
28. Eat appropriately about 3/4 full, lessen unnecessary social drinking and eating.
29. Eat more meals at home, eat out less to reduce waste and pollution.
30. Do homemade food and beverages, it is beneficial for health, save money and protect the environment as well.
31. Resist buying foods that use a large amount of food additives.
32. Eat more vegetables and fruits, less meat. It is favorable to personal health, and reduce damaging the earth.
33. Resist buying air transported foods that consume a lot of energy and pollute the environment.
34. Resist buying excessively processed food that waste resources and pollute the environment.
35. Eating bird's nest, shark's fin, abalone, pangolin and other wild games hunted for food injure the living creature and destroy the natural ecology.
36. As much as possible use loosen tea leaves to make tea, using tea bags waste resources and increase pollution.
37. As much as possible, buy organic fruits and vegetables. Fertilizer and pesticide are harmful to harm to human and destroy ecology and environment.
38. Purchase local and seasonal agricultural products to minimize transporting, refrigerating and polluting.
39. Bring personal water container when going on a trip, buy less packaged drinks and bottled water.
40. Breast feed baby to reduce the use of infant milk powder and baby food.
41. Select clothing made of natural fiber (cotton, wool, hemp, etc.), buy less of synthetic fiber materials.
42. Do not buy unnecessary clothes, shoes and hats just to go with fashion.
43. Let children wear hand-me-down clothing from brothers and sisters.
44. Wash clothes as much as possible. Dry cleaning use chemicals that have serious harmful effect to the environment.
45. Resist to buy fur clothing so that merchants will not catch wild animals excessively or raise animals to make fur clothing.
46. Take public transport or walk more, drive less or ride a locomotive.
47. If necessary to buy a car, it should be properly maintained or as much as possible, buy an electric car.
48. Use gas saving and less wear and tear methods to drive car.
49. Use the stairs more and elevator less.
50. Plant tress or potted plants in work places for greening the environment.
51. Use less of poisonous item of stationary such as marker pen, correction fluid, and correction belt.
52, Save paper. Use recycled paper or print double sided for non important document.
53. Use e-mail for bills and documents to minimize paper printing and also lessen to print in color.
54. Provide one's own handy cups and tableware, minimize the use of disposable tableware.
55. Do more outdoor activities, less strolling in the mall, and go less to air-conditioned indoor sport field.
56. Select sports that do not pollute such as Taichi, qigong, jogging and hiking.
57. Teach children to make their own toys, not only it improves intelligence, save money, but also has a sense of satisfaction.
58. Make own present and greeting card. Not only there is the thought, it saves money and resources.
59. Implement segregation of garbage. Waste paper, aluminum cans, metal cans, plastic cans, fluorescent lamps can be recycled.
60. Select to use recycled paper and other materials that can be recycled.
61. Don't keep pets just to be trendy or for fun only.
62. Buy less canned food for pets and excrement sand. It's a waste of money and resources.
63. Use less of disposable items to avoid pollution.
64. Try to buy "recycled" and reusable goods as much as possible to reduce the waste of resources.
65. Aerosol will destroy the ozone layer, try to use other substitutes as much as possible.
66. Try to use the traditional diaper, use less of baby disposable diapers to reduce waste.
67. Use rechargeable batteries and less ordinary batteries.
68. Old battery must be recycled, not to be discarded arbitrarily which will cause serious pollution to the environment.
69. Use handkerchief to reduce the use of tissue in order to minimize the cutting of trees.
70. Try to use solar energy products such as solar computer and solar water heater.
71.Self -provide environmentally friendly bag when shopping. Plastic bags can be used repeatedly if needed.
72. Do not smoke. Advice others that smoking is a bad habit which inflict suffering to one-self and others.
73. Resist buying products produced by company that pollute the environment.
74. Support enterprises that can do well in environmental protection and carry out the social responsibility.
75. Love and protect life. Do not indiscriminately take the life of a living creature. Do not participate in enterprises that engage in animal releasing movement which may destroy the ecology.