Earth Day takes place every year on April 22 and it marks the anniversary of the movement that started in 1970. In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas, didn’t care about industry issues such as smoke and sludge being aired into our communities and more. Air pollution was accepted because it represented commerce and prosperity. Most of us remained oblivious to environmental concerns.
However, in 1962 when Rachel Carson published the New York Times bestseller, Silent Spring the general attitude shifted. The book was so popular it was sold in 24 countries and it helped raise public awareness of the environment and the undeniable links between pollution and public health. This helped set the stage along with other events to the first Earth Day in 1970.
1970 – was the first Earth Day
1990 – Earth Day went global
2000 – was the new millennium and new issues to address. It was also the true advent of the internet and ability for people around the world to share information about these issues. It was also the year of the First Amendment Rally in Washington, DC.
2010 – the year that the environmental community was faced with the challenge to combat the vast cynicism of many different groups. Earth Day prevailed and it reestablished Earth Day as a major moment for global environmental action.
2023 – Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.
As the awareness of our climate crisis grows, so does civil society mobilization, which is reaching a fever pitch across the globe today. Disillusioned by the low level of ambition following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and frustrated with international environmental lethargy, citizens of the world are rising up to demand far greater action for our planet and its people. https://www.earthday.org/history/ More information about the timeline and the history of Earth Day can be found at this site.
Here at the Rancho, we take Earth Day and what it stands for seriously. As part of our initiative, we signed up to be a supporter of the Paris Agreement. We also became a Green Business through the city of Long Beach and we have an Eco team, which while challenged with balancing being green with other initiatives such as public health rules we are working to be a better citizen organization.
Also, we have been involved in a few community based Earth Day events and the creation stations in April are focused on doing no waste crafts. Plans are in motion to have something in 2024 that will focus on sustainability, climate change and environmental issues. The goal is to have a fun, interactive, family friendly event that is eco-friendly. This is in the concept phase and there will be more details forthcoming. And as we move into our S.T.E.A.M. curriculum initiatives, our focuses will include Climate Change, Environmental Justice and of course without a doubt Water Conservation.
The Eco Team hopes that everyone will spend some time in April thinking about Earth Day and what they can do to help our planet. We are in this together and we all need to help!