Earth Day: History and Impact

Earth Day - HistoryAt Mixed Bag Designs, we love Earth Day and get super excited as this wonderful holiday approaches! As you may be aware, we are big fans of our reusable bags and green products in general. With April 22 around the corner, we wanted to share a little bit of Earth Day history with you.

On April 22 each year, millions celebrate the anniversary of what many refer to as the birth of the modern environmental movement: Earth Day. The 70’s were a tumultuous time, and protest regarding the Vietnam War rocked the country. The environment was the last thing on many people’s minds, but Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson sought to channel the anti-war and protest energy into a rising public consciousness regarding pollution and environmental protection. The 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, served as a catalyst for his cause. It gave him, and others, the chance to turn environmental protection into a national agenda. Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment”, recruiting other politically-minded individuals to aid in his venture.

Eventually Nelson had a staff of 85 people, and the result of his idea was over 20 million Americans participating in rallies across the country to push for a healthier, more sustainable environment. Thousands of colleges and universities protested against the deterioration of the environment, and groups fighting against various dilemmas (oil spills, factory pollution, and toxic waste) came together with a common agenda. Few government agendas unify Republicans and Democrats, but this was something that nobody could argue with. By 1990, 200 million people in over 100 countries were mobilized, and Earth Day was recognized on a global scale. Senator Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Bill Clinton for his efforts and role as the founder of Earth Day.

The fight for a clean environment has never been more imperative. Be a part of Earth Day on April 22 and carry that knowledge with you throughout the year, practicing each day. Big changes start with small efforts…Earth Day was once nothing more than a lofty idea. Now, it’s something that people across the world celebrate, and will for generations to come!

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