All About Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

We here at SeaLuxe hope you’re keeping our planet in mind, not just today but every day. We’ve outlined ways on the SeaLuxe blog where we can all do our small part in saving our planet. As you’ve no doubt heard, sci-fi notwithstanding – there is no Planet B.

Buying sustainably-made or second-hand quality clothing counts huge. So does making a habit out of re-usable plastic bags. Ride your bike more or take transit and leave the car at home (with current gas prices – 1.70 per litre here on the West Coast, eek – it’s an economical move, too). Take your own reusable steel straw to restaurants.

Today, April 22nd, celebrates the birth of our modern environmental movement. While 1970 was a pivotal year in popular culture (Jimi Hendrix died and the last Beatles album was released) it was also a time people started paying attention. They paid attention to the Vietnam war and many – mostly students – held protests. Earth Day 1970 channeled some of the protest energy and put environmental concerns on the forefront of people’s minds.

Remember, many North Americans at the time were fueling their huge cars. According to the Earth Day website: “Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity.”

How far we’ve come. How far we have yet to go.

Earth Day was started by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson witnessed the devastation caused by the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969.

“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.”

History was made April 22, 1970. Twenty million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy and sustainable environment across the country. Both the Democrats and Republicans supported the movement.  The first Earth Day led to the creation o the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day 2000 was a repeat of everybody coming together. Instead, this time, it used the power of the Internet to organize activists. One of the hallmarks was a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Earth Day 2000 still had its opponents namely climate change deniers, oil lobbyists, politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community.

Still, Earth Day continued to grow. Today it is the largest secular observance in the world. The fight for a clean environment continues.

Next year, in 2020, it will be the 50th anniversary! SeaLuxe plans to do its part with beach clean-ups. Stay tuned for that announcement.