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Earth Day Facts and Fun

Earth Day was not always a holiday. In the early 1960’s Earth Day did not exist. The Earth was very polluted. You could see black smoke rising into the air. Toxic waste was in streams and rivers. This was the Earth before Earth Day began. 

History of Earth Day

So how did Earth Day become a holiday? During the 1960’s factories could shoot black smoke into the air. They could also dump toxic waste into nearby streams. Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to address all of the environmental issues to politicians. On April 22 1970, or also known as the first Earth Day, twenty million people including college, high school, and elementary students showed up to participate in the “most exciting and significant grassroots efforts in the history of this country” (Senator Nelson). Senator Nelson’s plan was to show the politicians that the American people felt a concern for the planet! His plan attracted more people than he expected to show up. That was how the Earth Day holiday began.

What did Earth day do?

Another question is, what did Earth Day do? Well it did a lot of things! It passed acts protecting the planet. Earth day made the EPA- the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. The year of 1970 passed the following; “Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Water Pollution and Control Act Amendments, the Resource Recovery Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act” (Senator Gaylord Nelson). On January 1st politicians signed the NEPA. This is also known as the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA is important because this is the act that made Earth Day possible.

How can you celebrate Earth Day? 

Earth Day is a holiday, like any other holiday. On any other holidays you find ways to celebrate. So how can we celebrate Earth Day? There are many ways! One way we can celebrate Earth Day is by planting plants. You can plant plants in your yard. Plants are a good way to celebrate Earth Day because plants take in our carbon monoxide and release oxygen that we need to breathe. You can host a trash walk in your neighborhood that can go down into a nearby trail. During this walk everyone gets a trash bag and gloves and they pick up trash when they are walking in the neighborhood or a nearby trail. This cleans up the trash on the Earth, and makes the Earth more green. You can walk or ride your bike to nearby places. Like if you have a park or a pool nearby, you can walk to it or ride your bike instead of driving. This helps the Earth because it diminishes the amount of gas released from cars. Another way to celebrate Earth Day is to recycle. Recycling helps keep the Earth green because it reuses “trash” multiple times. Another way you can celebrate Earth Day is using a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic water bottle. This helps the Earth because it diminishes the amount of trash. These are only a few out of the many ways you can keep the Earth clean and green!

In conclusion, Earth Day has done a lot to protect our Earth and keep it green. Let’s continue it’s good work, and strive to make the Earth a better place! 

Happy Earth Day!


Nelson, Gaylord. “Earth Day ’70: What It Meant.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 16 Sept. 2016,

“EPA History: Earth Day.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 1 Aug. 2022,

Emily Kwapnioski
Future author, lover of books, food, and nature--secretly a hobbit at heart!
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