Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the an­niver­sary of the birth of the mod­ern en­vi­ron­men­tal move­ment in 1970. More than 1 bil­lion peo­ple now par­tic­i­pate in Earth Day ac­tiv­i­ties each year, mak­ing it the largest civic ob­ser­vance in the world.
 
The idea for a na­tion­al day to fo­cus on the en­vi­ron­ment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, af­ter wit­ness­ing the rav­ages of the 1969 mas­sive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the stu­dent anti-war move­ment, he re­al­ized that if he could in­fuse that en­er­gy with an emerg­ing pub­lic con­scious­ness about air and wa­ter pol­lu­tion, it would force en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion on­to the na­tion­al po­lit­i­cal agen­da.
 
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, ac­ti­vat­ed 20 mil­lion Americans from all walks of life and is wide­ly cred­it­ed with launch­ing the mod­ern en­vi­ron­men­tal move­ment. The pas­sage of the land­mark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many oth­er ground­break­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal laws soon fol­lowed.
 
Twenty years lat­er, Earth Day went glob­al, mo­bi­liz­ing 200 mil­lion peo­ple in 141 coun­tries and lift­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues on­to the world stage.
 
As the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day ap­proach­es, the time is long over­due for a glob­al out­pour­ing of en­er­gy, en­thu­si­asm, and com­mit­ment to cre­ate a new en­vi­ron­men­tal par­a­digm. Earth Day 2020 can be the cat­a­lyst that gal­va­nizes an un­par­al­leled glob­al col­lab­o­ra­tion. Download the Earth Day 2020 Prospectus here.

the problem