Earth Day is 42 years old this year and more than a billion people will participate in one type of event or another, in honoring this largest civic observance day in the world.
When Earth Day began in 1970, 20 million Americans participated and it influenced President Nixon to create the Environmental Protection Agency the same year.
To celebrate the 42nd Earth Day, Earth911.com is traveling back to the roots of the modern environmental movement. The website is going back to the groovy days and seeing how far we’ve come since then.
Doesn’t their groovy website make you want to take out the disco ball and do the hustle? I’m sure that’s not the reason why they decided to go back, so then, why did they decide to go retro?
“Earth Day is tough, because there are so many ways you can talk about it or encourage people to participate. We really wanted to go back to our roots, to delve into what our work today is built upon. I’m excited that we could reinterpret the first Earth Day through a digital lens, and bring the passion and enthusiasm that made it such an exciting time to our readers today.” - Raquel Fagan, Vice President of Media & Partnerships, Earth911
And what did they find out when they looked at the last 42 years?
“When we started designing this concept and writing the features, we really expected to see a sharp contrast between 1970 and today. But what was really surprising was to find that many things, especially the passion people feel for why we have to be better, is the same. ” – Nate Lipka, Managing Editor, Earth911
So that’s good, right? Let’s see what we’ve done with that “passion” in regard to the environment.
In 1943, air quality’s effect on human health was brought to national attention when the first recognized episodes of smog occurred in Los Angeles. Visibility reduced to three blocks, and Angelinos suffered from respiratory discomfort, nausea and vomiting. California went on to pass the first state air pollution law in 1947.
In 1965, 17 percent of Americans said cleaning up the air and water was as one of their top three political priorities; in 1970, that percentage skyrocketed to 53.
The U.S. recycling rate in 1970 was 6.6 percent, compared to a 34.1 percent in 2010.
Overall waste generation has nearly doubled since 1970, from 127.8 million tons to 249.9 million tons in 2010.
The Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) passed in 1976. Among other things, the law mandated that landfills be closely monitored and enacted America’s hazardous waste management program.
Paper and paperboard were the most-recycled materials in 1970 and still are today.
These are just two aspect of the environment that we’ve covered. For more info on how much we’ve done for the environment, be sure to check out Earth911 .
And to help you spread the word and show your ‘passion’, Earth911 created this funky and cool bumper clickers for you to share and print for your energy efficient car. Click on this image to print your set to share with your friends and celebrate Earth Day this year. You’ll get to choose your colors and design too. Peace.