We Bet You Didn't Know These Facts About Earth Day

We Bet You Didn’t Know These Facts About Earth Day

The Earth Day theme for 2017 is environmental and climate literacy. There are Earth Day events taking place across the globe. So how much you know about Earth Day?


The first Earth Day was in 1970. Gaylord Nelson, after seeing the damage done by a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, was inspired to organize a national “teach-in” that focused on educating the public about the environment.

The first Earth Day celebration was held on April 22 for mostly prosaic (and one poetic) reasons. When Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day, he chose late April, because he wanted to be sure that schools and colleges would all be in session, and to find a date that wouldn’t conflict with Easter or Passover. April 22 happened to fall one day after the birthday of John Muir x1863. That’s the prosaic reasoning. The poetic reason is that April 22 was the birthday of advertising exec Julian Koenig, who was helping to promote the event. He pushed the name Earth Day because it rhymes with birthday.

Earth Day continued to grow over the years. In 1990, it went global, and 200 million people in 141 countries participated in the event. Today, more than 1 billion people across the globe participate in Earth Day activities, according to Earth Day Network (EDN).

You can get involved without attending an official event by trying some of the following activities:

Walk to work, cycle or take public transport.
Use a reusable coffee cup.
Make sure you recycle.
Go paperless.
Take a tote bag to the shop.
Plant a tree.
Go meat or dairy free at least once a week.
Carry a reusable water bottle.
Grow your own fruit and veg.
Buy local produce.

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