Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is April 18, 2018. This year’s focus is Ending Plastic Pollution. Single-use plastics are a growing menace to the health of our planet.

The goal is to get rid of single-use plastics. Educate people about the health risks connected with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water and wildlife.

Plastics poison and injure marine life. Plastics in our food disrupt human hormones. Earth Day 2018 promotes 100% recycling of plastics as well as alternatives to fossil-fuel based materials. Educate people worldwide to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.

Earth Day Network works with 50,000 partners in 195 countries. Over one billion people take part in Earth Day.

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.

Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

“In 1970, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.”

“Although mainstream America largely remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book began to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health.”

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.

It is time for us to prepare for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to bring new energy to the environmental movement. Earth Day Network is developing a plan for 2020 to bring people and institutions together to build a new narrative for the planet. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.

Armed with such a narrative, we believe the environmental movement can gain new relevance, recruits, and resources, increasing global understanding, restoring optimism and fueling future effective action. Earth Day Network does not have all the answers, but with the help of many others, it is developing an ambitious plan of what success looks like and how the world would change with our combined success. Help Earth Day Network design the vision, roadmap and strategies to realize this outcome for Earth Day 2020!

For more details, visit www.EarthDayNetwork.com