10 Facts You Should Know About Earth Day

Guess what April 22nd is? Exactly… Earth Day! Here at SaltyLama, we’re big fans of our beautiful blue marble. Naturally, Earth Day is one of our faves! Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. This day of consciousness was first held on April 22, 1970, and now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org. One of the most popular worldwide celebrations, recent Earth Day initiatives have drawn over 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.

For a little historical context, in 1969 at a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. McConnell proposed that this day was to first be observed on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

A month later, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea to hold a nationwide environmental teach-in on April 22, 1970. He hired a young activist, Denis Hayes, to be the National Coordinator. Nelson and Hayes renamed the event "Earth Day". Denis and his staff grew the event beyond the original idea to include the entire United States. More than 20 million people poured out on the streets, and the first Earth Day remains the largest single-day protest in human history. How cool is that?

Now, fast-forward to Earth Day 2016, when the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and 120 other countries. This agreement was an internationally treaty that covers climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance. Since its founding, communities have engaged in Earth Day activities focused on the environmental issues. On Earth Day 2020, over 100 million people around the world observed the 50th anniversary in what is being referred to as the largest online mass mobilization in history.

So, as we gear up for Earth Day 2022, here are a few fun facts about the day meant to revel in all the glory of Mother Earth.


  1. US Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day after witnessing a massive oil spill that leaked millions of gallons of oil off the coast of Santa Barbara, California in 1969. In 1970 Nelson noticed people protesting the Vietnam War, but not putting any pressure on government about the damage being done to the planet via contaminants like the Santa Barbara and other oil spills, pesticides, and deadly smog. Frustrated by the indifference, Nelson pushed to bring our need to protect Earth to the forefront.


  1. Earth Day originated in the U.S. but became recognized worldwide by 1990. 20 million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970. It has since grown, and has been celebrated in more than 193 countries by over one billion Earth-minded activists.


  1. April 22was chosen intentionally by Senator Nelson and Denis Hayes. They strategically selected April 22 in order to attract more college students, who were known for being politically active during that era of protest. The date fell between spring break and final exams, giving them plenty free time to take to the streets to participate on Earth Day.


  1. Earth Day sparked the creation of government environmental organizations. The very first Earth Day sparked an environmental movement — and led to the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Earth Day also played a roll in the development and signing of the Paris Agreement.


  1. Earth Day has inspired countries to start environmentally beneficial initiatives. For example, on Earth Day 2011, the Earth Day Network organized the “Plant Trees Not Bombs” campaign, where 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan. Then on Earth Day in 2012, more than 100,000 people in China rode their bikes in order to reduce CO2 emissions and highlight the amount of pollution emitted from cars.


  1. Each year, the Earth Day theme changes. In 1990, the spotlight was on global mobilization of environmental issues with a strong focus on recycling. In 2000 it was about global warming and clean energy. The theme for Earth Day 2021 was Restore Our Earth, which was intended to be a reminder that while we want to protect our planet, we all also need to protect our planet. The theme for Earth Day 2022 is Invest in Our Planet. The 2022 theme focuses on the business climate, the political climate, and how we all take action on climate to support our lives, health, and survival.


  1. In the lead-up to Earth Day, millions of people worldwide will participate in Earth Hour, an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint. Earth Hour encourages us to engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. This year’s Earth Hour was held on Saturday, March 26. It is always held at 8:30 p.m. local time. In past years, Earth Hour gatherings have contributed to real policy changes, including the creation of a marine-protected area in Argentina and environmental protection legislation in Russia


  1. Earth Day has a theme song. No, really! There’s a whole song. The song, "Earth Anthem," was written by Indian poet Abhay Kumar in 2013 and has since been recorded in all official UN languages. If you’re looking for a sustainable bop to rock out to, you can check it out here.


  1. About a billion people participate in Earth Day. Each year, it's estimated that about a billion people participate in Earth Day in their own ways, big and small. That makes up about 15% of the world's population. This also makes Earth Day the largest secular celebration in the world.


  1. It’s super easy to participate in Earth Day. People of all ages can participate in Earth Day by doing even the smallest of things, like taking out your recycling or getting outside instead of using electronics inside. You can also make a difference by attending a march, planting a tree, cleaning up trash outside or anything that helps protect and preserve our planet.


It’s no secret that our planet is being impacted by human carelessness. At SaltyLama, we make it our business to intentionally, swiftly, and consistently take actions to help the planet  Earth Day calls on everyone to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation by taking part in activities that help make our world a happier, healthier and safer place to live. Were so excited for Earth Day! We hope to see you out there.