On April 22, 2013, WooBamboo launched its bamboo toothbrushes as a commitment to doing what’s best for our planet. Not only is April 22 our anniversary, but it’s also a holiday known as Earth Day – a time to celebrate everything Mother Nature provides and reflect on our beautiful surroundings. It’s also the perfect time to examine our impact on our environment and look for ways to keep it clean and safe for future generations.
The Very First Earth Day
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 in response to numerous concerns from environmentalists, consumers, and everyone. In those days, Americans were growing more and more dependent on leaded gasoline for their cars, which led to serious smog in some of the nation’s largest cities. Furthermore, in the 1970s, the laws that regulate the amount of carbon that industries can send into the atmosphere simply didn’t exist, and greenhouse gasses were a serious problem that only exacerbated the developing smog problems. Although most Americans at the time were completely oblivious to the damage being done to the environment, a single book changed all of that.
The Impact of Silent Spring
Prior to the first Earth Day, all the way back in 1962, an author named Rachel Carson published a book called Silent Spring. This amazing publication was the first of its kind – a true story about how emissions and chemicals were affecting life as we know it. Carson presented a very complex scientific principle surrounding the dangers of DDT and other chemicals and emissions in a way that everyone could understand. Because of this, Silent Spring truly captured America’s attention; even President John F. Kennedy read it in the summer of 1962. The people started to realize that they were harming the environment, and numerous activist groups formed to help spread awareness and stop dangerous emissions.
Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson
As a junior senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson had been concerned about the environment for years. Although he worked hard to spread awareness and utilize his senatorial seat to help protect the environment, it was ultimately the 1969 oil spill just off the coast of Santa Barbara that led to action. Senator Nelson called for college campuses to host educational events, and he arranged for the media to broadcast these sessions to the American people. The date chosen for this event was April 22, and the organizer for the events was a then-young Denis Hayes.
Earth Day Today
Thanks to Senator Nelson and Denis Hayes, more Americans than ever before started to understand the impact they had on the planet. Individual activist groups that once fought for a single cause (oil spills, air pollution, toxic waste, excessive logging, wildlife extinction, and more) joined together. April 22, 1970 marked a wonderful turning point. People came together to help Mother Nature regardless of their political alignment, social standing, income, or employment status to celebrate the planet and bring awareness to its slow, painful destruction. Every year since then, people across the United States have celebrated Earth Day by reflecting on their personal impact on the planet.
The history of Earth Day is an exciting one that is filled with stories of perseverance, commitment, and accountability. In fact, by the end of 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed, and this paved the way for similar agencies in the future, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and even the Endangered Species Act, among others.