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Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?

3/8/2022 by qrelihan

Earth Day Origin

      Since next month, MER is going to be celebrating Earth Day by participating in various local clean-ups I wanted to take some time to learn about the origin of Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was April 22nd, 1970, and at the time there was no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act, and no EPA.  Therefore, Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to push environmental protection issues onto the national agenda by encouraging Americans to participate in demonstrations on April 22nd, 1970 (EPA Earth Day 2022).  Turns out, Senator Gaylord was not the only one concerned about the deterioration of the environment because 20 million Americans joined him by holding demonstrations on April 22nd, 1970.  Gaylord’s hope that these demonstrations would help push the importance of protecting the environment onto national agenda, worked because by the time December 1970 rolled around Congress had created the EPA. 

      Since then, Earth Day events and clean-ups have continued to grow, gaining more participants each year.  In fact, Earth Day has more than 1 billion participants every year from across the globe.  So, what started out as an effort to get the environmental issues on the national agenda has become a day that people all over the world come together to protect and preserve the environment.  This includes volunteers from over 5,000 environmental groups and 193 countries (Earth Day 2022).  Some of the environmental problems that were front and center in the 1970s are no longer front and center because of what the first day was able to accomplish.  However, Earth Day is still powerful when it comes to bringing new and persisting environmental problems to the national agenda. 

      By volunteering our time to clean up our local communities and surrounding environments we are continuing to show how important protecting and preserving the environment is to us a company.  However, unlike Gaylord we have decided to give our employees the opportunity to participate in local clean-up events for the entire month of April rather than just April 22nd.  There will be more information to follow once we get closer to the month of April and Earth Day as to what type of events our different locations will be participating in as well as local events that need volunteers.

 

If you want to learn more about Earth Day or find events near you follow the link below:

https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2022/

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