This year’s Earth Day falls on Saturday the 22nd of April. You may not be familiar with Earth Day and what it’s all about. Don’t panic (which I’m sure you aren’t anyway), all will be revealed in this blog post. And if it isn’t obvious, I will also discuss why we celebrate this day at EVision.
What Are the Origins?
The very first question that will surely pop up, for those who are not familiar with it, is what is it? Well, the origins of Earth Day go back several decades. The seeds of this event even pre-date the very first Earth Day in 1970.
There is no better explanation as to why this day was deemed so important than what is written on the Earth Day website: “In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.
However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health.”
Powerful words indeed.
The First Earth Day in 1970
The person to thank for the Earth Day movement is a Senator for the State of Wisconsin in the United States of America by the name of Gaylord Nelson. Mr Nelson was deeply concerned by the massive oil spills that had happened in 1969 off the coast of Santa Barbara and the environmental impact that the American way of life was having on the planet. He was also deeply inspired by student movements of the time to make a lasting impact on the environment.
The Earth Day website goes on to tell us that “Earth Day inspired 20 million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — to take to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development which had left a growing legacy of serious human health impacts. Thousands of colleges and universities organised protests against the deterioration of the environment and there were massive coast-to-coast rallies in cities, towns, and communities.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first of their kind environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act. A year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act and soon after the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction.”
An American Phenomena Goes Global
Earth Day was predominantly an American event in the early days. However, in 1990 there was a rapidly growing global movement to improve the world’s environmental position. Earth Day in 1990 managed to mobilise an incredible 200 million people from an astounding 141 countries. Concerns about the environment were impacting millions around the world and people had had enough of inaction.
The movement has continued to grow in swathes since the early days. There are more than 1 billion people invigorated the world over. Politicians cannot ignore the growing demand for better protections for our planet.
Earth Day – Needed Now More Than Ever
When looking at Earth Day today and the impact it continues to have, I defer once more to the words of the Earth Day official website. After all, they say it best. “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 behaviour and create global, national and local policy changes.
Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more and more apparent every day.
As the awareness of our climate crisis grows, so does civil society mobilisation, 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.”
EVision Electric Vision and Our Environmental Mission
As you would imagine, being an electric vehicles company, we are passionate about improving the environment. We have always taken a role in educating and assisting as many people as possible through the joy of electric vehicles.
It isn’t just through electric vehicles that we try and make a positive impact. All of our sites use solar power to charge our vehicles before going out on hire. We want to have a minimal impact on the environment and leave the world in a better position for future generations. I send out a big thank you to our customers who also support this message and continue to drive electric.