The first Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, has been described as “one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy.” Earth Day 2011 built upon that legacy by spreading the environmental gospel worldwide, fostering actions in 190 countries around the world.
Senator Nelson’s legacy remains more important than anyone could have imagined. In the 1970’s, his work laid the foundation for environmental protection in the United States through the creation of the EPA and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
This year, Earth Day and the movement continued to build momentum. The Billion Acts of Green campaign exceeded 140 million Acts of Green, making it the world’s largest environmental action! We credit these results to the efforts of amazing supporters like you.
The stories of Earth Day activists are as remarkable as they are diverse. For example, in war-torn Iraq, 13-year old Hocar and his 11-year old brother Hauri, both disabled victims of regional violence, lead tree plantings and a campus-wide greening effort in their school’s first ever Earth Day celebration. In Da Lat city, Vietnam, a local restaurant owner named Karen Ly held an event to save an indigenous plant species that had become endangered. In Kenya’s Rift Valley, local artisans Philip and Katy created special environmentally-friendly jewelry, and donated a portion of their proceeds to the Earth Day movement.
The circumstances surrounding Earth Day 2011 bear an eerie resemblance to those of the first Earth Day. While visiting the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1970, Senator Nelson was inspired to call for a national “teach-in” to protest environmental degradation large and small. The last two Earth Days were preceded by massive environmental disasters, in the Gulf of Mexico and Japan respectively. Until history stops repeating itself our work continues.
We are proud of our legacy. We are proud of Earth Day 2011. So, join me in celebrating our movement by taking action to make it stronger!
- Make a statement on Facebook through the Billion Acts of Green campaign
- Wear your support for A Billion Acts of Green on your sleeve – check out our limited edition posters and t-shirts
- Did you attend an Earth Day event or pledge an Act of Green? Share your stories and photos at Earthday.org/act!
We are on the road to A Billion Acts of Green. Let’s send an undeniable message to world leaders that a billion people are putting themselves to work for the planet. We will accept nothing less in return than a real commitment for global change!
Thank you for your courage, vision and tenacity in paving the way for us and future generations to live in a better world. Your work is a credit to the legacy of Earth Day and Senator Nelson.
President, Earth Day Network