In 1970 the world recognized what an impact unsafe practices and products had on our planet and instituted Earth Day. It was the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Earth Day is now a global environmental event, celebrated on April 22nd.
As a result of the inaugural Earth Day celebration, there have been a number of accomplishments. The Environmental Protection Agency was established later in 1970. The tough Clean Air Act of 1970 was passed with few dissenting votes in both houses of congress. The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act soon followed, aimed at in-plant pollution, was passed by a coalition of labor and environmental groups. Within the next three years, such landmarks as, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Conservation and Recovery Act were passed. Other countries have accomplished similar achievements.
In 1990, the U.N. Earth Day Summit in Rio de Janeiro was the largest collection of national political leaders to ever meet in one place. It made some important initial steps toward addressing climate change and preserving biodiversity. More than a dozen countries established eco-labeling programs to guide consumers toward environmentally preferable goods and services.
Several Eastern European nations, responding to public demand, established new environmental agencies. CARE, the international relief agency, set out new environmental goals for itself in the 1990s that included planting 500,000,000 trees worldwide. And in the new millennium, there is still lots to do. All these stories are great, but what does it really have to do with you and me? We are not part of the U.N. or anything important like that.
Start by recycling and encourage others to do the same. Use products that are concentrated and that use ingredients that are environmentally safe. Most of all, talk about it to your children, family, friends and your political leaders. Finally, celebrate Earth Day in your own big way. Make Earth Day every day. It is your Earth, what are you doing for it?