On April 22, 1970, the first celebration of Earth Day was the spark that formalized the beginning of the modern environmental movement.
Founded by U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson, the holiday was meant to take environmental issues out of the hands of activists and put them in the hands of middle America.
Here’s an excerpt from his letter to our corporate siblings at CBS News back in 1970:
The issue had to become a part of the political dialogue of the nation before we could hope to accomplish anything. It has now become a part of the political dialogue and that is, in my judgment, the most significant environmental event in the history of the movement.
The simple fact is that we cannot afford the price of not cleaning up the environment.
From college students to environmental advocates, millions of Americans joined to fight the collective fight against a rapidly deteriorating environment, from oil spills and toxic waste dumps to the adverse effects of pesticides, automobile emissions and other byproducts of industry.
Forty years later, businesses and citizens have gotten smarter about these things. But there’s much more work to be done.
We here at SmartPlanet are excited to bring you a package of stories that we think will help you understand how far we’ve come in the 40 years since the first Earth Day. As you’ll see in the following stories, we’re getting a little more smarter every day. –The Editors
- Christina Hernandez: On Earth Day, winners of the ‘Nobel of environmental awards’ discuss conservation
- Boonsri Dickinson: Why you need to be biodiversity aware
- Melissa Mahony: Let there be light! (and radio-tracking collars)
- Boonsri Dickinson: Why the biodiversity crisis is worse than the global economic crisis: There’s no bailout for this one
- Andrew Nusca: SAP’s Peter Graf: ‘Sustainability is about making money’
- Larry Dignan: Consumers wary of utility electricity management plans
Recycling & Waste Reduction
- Joe McKendrick: E-business may dramatically cut paper waste
- Andrew Nusca: Pepsico unveils smart ‘Dream Machine’ recycling kiosks
- Dana Blankenhorn: Real progress on medical waste
- Larry Dignan: Starbucks: Cup recycling logistics harder than they seem
Green Building & Architecture
Food & Agriculture
- Melanie D.G. Kaplan: Alexandra Cousteau: Tuna is not a sustainable alternative
- Dana Blankenhorn: They came for my salt shaker and then my sugar bowl
Green schools & Education