It was on this day, 50 years ago, people around the world came together to celebrate the first-ever Earth Day. Today, we celebrate it as the largest secular observance in the world, one that witnesses nearly 1 billion people engaging from across 190+ countries. Since Earth Day 2020 marks the momentous 50th anniversary, I thought we would take a trip down memory lane to explore the origin story of Earth Day. Plus, I will let you know how our community SDG Plus will be honoring this important day.
Origin Story of Earth Day
As the golden age of capitalism was coming to an end in the 1960s, cracks in the environmental and social pillars of sustainability were slowly starting to reveal itself. More and more people were worried about the rapid industrialization that was adding waste to our precious environment. In the west, the publication of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” in 1962 was a major turning point. Her book critiqued the chemical industry for spreading misinformation about pesticides and its impact on human and environmental health. In the east, an environmentalist and social activist by the name of Chandi Prasad Bhatt was slowly gaining momentum among the people of India. He was using non-violent protests to demand forest rights and the need to maintain ecological balance.
As the 60s was coming to a close, the world witnessed many people joining the ranks of Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Rachel Carson in organizing environmental and social movements around the world. We now refer to this period as the birth of sustainability movements. To capitalize on this momentum, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin had a plan. Gaylord Nelson was concerned about the rapid environmental degradation that was happening in the US, with the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill fresh in his memory. Inspired by the non-violent anti-war protests from young students, Nelson joined hands with Denis Hayes, a young activist. On April 22nd, Denis Hayes and Nelson urged students to non-violently protest the negative impacts of industrialization. They named their protest march as Earth Day. Earth Day caught the eye of national media, which in turn inspired 20 million Americans to participate!
Since then, Earth Day has become a global phenomenon, with nearly 1 billion people engaging from across 190+ countries to show support for environmental protection. It was on this day in 2016, the UN’s Paris Agreement was signed by more than 120 countries. They aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent climate change.
Earth Day 2020: Launch of SDG Plus Courses
Since Earth 2020 marks the 50th anniversary, we here at SDG Plus wanted to do something special. For the past couple of months, our team has been working passionately to produce “the story of sustainability” course for our community. Nearing its completion, the SDG Plus team thought why not release this course for free on this year’s Earth Day? Well, that is exactly what we are doing! We are super excited to bring this to you for free. All you have to do is simply click here and it will take you to our “The Story of Sustainability” course YouTube playlist. While you are there if you do like our course, consider subscribing to our channel, we would appreciate it! If you have any feedback for us or want us to cover a new topic on sustainability, simply leave a comment.
We believe our course will easily help you experience the world of sustainability. Meticulous research has been done to create the script for these courses. The courses have been animated so that we could bring it to life and make learning fun and engaging. All our episodes have a unique lesson to teach
- Birth of Modern Sustainability: Learn how we went from world war 2 to the birth of modern-day sustainability movements.
- Theories and Principles of Sustainability: Walk with us through time and discover how our ancestors have learned and practiced sustainability.
- Origin Story of Millennium Development Goals: Learn about the rise and fall of the UN’s first 21st-century resolution, the Millennium Development Goals.
- Origin Story of Sustainable Development Goals: Will the Sustainable Development Goals overcome the challenges that plagued the Millennium Development Goals?
- Sustainable and Unsustainable Practices Around the Globe: With our global natural resources depleting at an alarming rate, learn how we can address this dilemma.