Category: Nature
Earth Day around the world in 2024

About Earth Day

How long until Earth Day?
Earth Day .
Dates of Earth Day
2025 InternationalApr 22
International Tue, Apr 22Observances Holiday
2024 InternationalApr 22
International Mon, Apr 22Observances Holiday
2023 InternationalApr 22
International Sat, Apr 22Observances Holiday
2022 InternationalApr 22
International Fri, Apr 22Observances Holiday
2021 InternationalApr 22
International Thu, Apr 22Observances Holiday
More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a global holiday celebrated each year on April 22nd. The first Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970, when over 20 million Americans across the country demonstrated through marches and teach-ins to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues. At the U.N. on Earth Day 2016, over 170 countries signed the landmark Paris Agreement to fight climate change and harmful environmental practices across the globe.

It has been estimated that Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people worldwide, making it the most widely celebrated secular holiday in the world after New Year's Day and International Worker's Day.

History of Earth Day

Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, proposed the first nationwide environmental protest "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda. " "It was a gamble," he recalls, "but it worked." At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity.

On April 22nd 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

The date of April 22nd was chosen as it falls between final exams and spring break for students in America, who were seen as an important group that would get behind the ideas of Earth Day.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts. Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest honor given to civilians in the United States -- for his role as Earth Day founder.

As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting the status of environmental issues on to the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Although Earth Day was founded by Senator Nelson, the name was actually coined by an advertising executive called Julian Koenig, who was also responsible for some famous marketing catch phrases, such as "Timex, it takes a licking, but keeps on ticking".

As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. For 2000, Earth Day had the Internet to help link activists around the world. By the time 22 April rolled around, 5,000 environmental groups around the world were on board, reaching out to hundreds of millions of people in a record 184 countries.

Many cities extend the Earth Day celebration to be an entire week, usually starting on 16 April, and ending on Earth Day, 22 April.

Article adapted from Earth Day network press room.

External links

Find out more

Similar Observances

Read more about International Dawn Chorus Day

International Dawn Chorus Day

Find out the dates, history and traditions of International Dawn Chorus Day.

Read More
Read more about World Reef Day

World Reef Day 🐠

World Reef Day is a call to action to promote the work of meaningfully impacting our world's delicate reef systems.

Read More
Read more about World Ranger Day

World Ranger Day

World Ranger Day is celebrated across the world on July 31 every year to appreciate the contributions of the Forest Rangers

Read More
Read more about World Bamboo Day

World Bamboo Day

Discover the eco-friendly beauty of bamboo on World Bamboo Day - September 18th! Explore sustainable uses, cultivation, and its positive impact on the environment.

Read More

Other Observances on April 22nd 2024

Read more about Girl's Day

Girl's Day

Find out the dates, history and traditions of Girls' Day in Germany.

Read More
Read more about Passover Begins

Passover Begins ✡️

Passover (Pesach), is an eight day Jewish holiday that remembers the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt

Read More
Read more about National Girl Scout Leaders Day

National Girl Scout Leaders Day

Find out the dates, history and traditions of National Girl Scout Leaders Day

Read More
Read more about National Jelly Bean Day

National Jelly Bean Day

Find out the dates, history and traditions of National Jelly Bean Day

Read More
All events on April 22nd 2024