Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

AFRLUENCER, along with every Earthling, celebrates Earth Day, an annual event held on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In 1969, John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. Originally, the day was meant to be observed on the first day of the northern hemisphere’s spring, March 21, 1970, but it later evolved into an international environmental Teach-in on April 22, 1970, through a proclamation by McConnell, the United Nations, and the United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. Since then, April 22 has been designated as the day for all Earth-folk to pay tribute to our dear Mother Earth.

Happy Earth Day

The Origins Of The Earth Day

United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, who had been looking for ways to raise awareness about the environment as a political issue inspired the Earth Day concept. He believed that college campuses could be the perfect place to start environmental teach-ins. On January 28, 1969, a Union Oil platform known as Platform A on the coast of Santa Barbara suffered a major oil spill. A leakage of more than 3 million gallons of oil, resulted in the death of over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. This disaster prompted a widespread call for environmental regulation and education. In response, Senator Nelson created Earth Day to support the public’s desire for environmental protection. Selma Rubin, Marc McGinnes, Dennis Hayes, and Bud Bottoms, founder of Get Oil Out, were among those who supported Earth Day as a way to fight against future environmental disasters.

The Origins Of The Environmental Rights Day

On January 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the oil blowout, marked the creation of Environmental Rights Day. During a boat trip across the Santa Barbara Channel, Rod Nash declared the Environmental Rights Charter. The organizers of Environmental Rights Day, led by Marc McGinnes and U.S.A. Congressman Pete McCloskey, created the National Environmental Policy Act, which became a landmark environmental protection law. Nash, along with Garreth Hardin, McGinnes, and others, later developed the first undergraduate Environmental Studies program at the University of California at Santa.

The Earth Day Focus On Pollution

Earth Day events primarily focus on reducing air and water pollution due to widespread concerns about environmental pollution. However, over the years, the event has promoted various causes such as protecting the ozone layer, advocating for organic food, safeguarding endangered species, preventing oil spills, educating people on the impact of overpopulation, addressing the issue of peeling lead paint in low-income housing, opposing supersonic transport, and many others. The events are diverse, including tree planting by school students, litter pick-up by ministers in city parks, and bird identification activities, among others.

The Origins Of The “Earth Day” Name

In 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson sought the advice of public interest lawyer Anthony Roisman to establish a non-profit campaign called Environmental Teach-In. The first campaign, on September 20th of the same year was not successful. The concept of “teach-ins” had become outdated. However, Julien Koenig, a famous advertising mogul visited the national offices and offered to help. Their conversation revealed that the “teach-in” name was not working. Koenig, who had dropped out of Harvard to become the executive director of the national campaign, asked for a few days to come up with some new ideas.

A week after his initial visit, Koenig came back with various mock-ups for ads that were centered around the theme of “Ecology Day,” “Environment Day,” “Earth Day,” and “E Day.” Koenig’s personal favorite was Earth Day, partly because it fell on his birthday (April 22) and “birthday” rhymed with “Earth Day.” His advert was visually stunning and perfectly captured the campaign’s values and tone, which was both spirited and welcoming. Overnight, “Earth Day” became the widely-accepted name for the event, attracting thousands of potential organizers. In the following months, the ad featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, generating an increase in financial support.

The Earth Day 2024

The theme for Earth Day 2024 is Planet vs. Plastics and to mark that Earthday.org has called for a 60% global reduction in plastic production by 2040. It also released its report Babies vs. Plastics, highlighting that it is the children of the Global South who are being the most impacted by exposure to microplastics.

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