History of Earth Day
Earth Day has a long history. The rumblings of its first event started in the 1960s in America, as people became aware that the disregard of the planet was taking a toll on human life. Factories belched smog into the environment. Oil spills slicked the oceans, killing aquatic life and birds by the thousands. And items were tossed in the trash haphazardly, with little regard to how that waste was piling up and what toxic chemicals were leaching into the earth in the process. Thankfully, a few people took notice and cared enough to do something about it.
In 1970, the first Earth Day was held in the USA and people across the country noticed. Approximately 10% of Americans took part in those early events that focused on rallies and education. Organizers wanted people to know the extent of damage that was being done to our air and waterways, and they wanted politicians to take notice too. They did. By the end of 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed, which still works hard to protect the environment today.
With a movement that rallied millions behind it to do good in the name of the planet, it is no wonder that Earth Day grew beyond the US. Today, over 190 countries take part in Earth Day events across the globe. Rallies are still held and people are still fighting to protect our environment in any way they can. That’s good, as we are facing a climate crisis that affects the whole world.
Current Earth Day Movement
So what are the mandates of today’s Earth Day movement? Sure, group cleanups happen in communities across the world. They are important, but organizers recognize that more needs to be done than just picking up a few cigarette butts once a year.
“Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.”
Now it is about changing behaviours to heal the world. This year the mandate is to “Invest in Our Planet”.
Invest in Our Planet
What does it mean to invest in our planet? You should absolutely still take part in rallies and community cleanups to make your community a safer and cleaner place to live. There are bigger things you can do too though. It is time to move beyond grass routes movements and make larger choices that impact our planet. It starts with saying no to plastic bags and moves to supporting companies that offer better choices, like paper bags, or perks for bringing your own. You can choose to ditch the straw, but a bigger step is to stop buying fast fashion that gets thrown away in a season. Even better, figure out which politicians support green initiatives that you get behind. Learn more about and invest in companies that incorporate green policies in their mandates. Your fiscal dollars make a huge impact on how companies conduct business, so support them with your pocketbook. The movement starts with you, but needs to move through businesses, policies, and global interactions to make a worldwide impact. Know that your actions make a difference.
So today, we encourage you to get out and clean up your property and neighbourhood. We also ask you to think about what you buy, what companies you support, and which politicians are fighting for your planet. We only have one planet, so let’s invest in it today.
*By following a strict environmental policy that goes above and beyond Ontario’s waste management laws, Load of Rubbish continuously strives to discover new and innovative ways to recycle, reuse, or repurpose materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.