This post was originally published on April 21, 2015. In response, Librarian Aviva Adler shared her experience celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970:
As a teenager living in the Washington DC area, I volunteered with the EPA and helped with activities for the very first Earth Day. I made a tie-dye batik “earth day” flag (haven’t seen it in years, but I’m sure it’s in a box somewhere) in my parents’ kitchen. I stood on street corners with environmental literature, educating passers-by and asking for their support and signatures on petitions to pass environmental laws. I clearly remember having collected hundreds of signatures, and then handing my clipboard full of signatures to one man who took the clipboard and threw it into the Reflecting Pool … and I remember fishing it out and trying to salvage the signatures!
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. The purpose of Earth Day is to bring awareness to environmental issues, lobby for environmental policies, and promote changes in human behaviors in order to maintain the ecosystem. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Today, it is observed in more than 192 countries with more than 1 billion people participating. It is largest civil observance in the world.