What is Earth Day?

What is Earth Day?

April 17, 2019

Amidst a frenzy of environmental awareness and a heightened focus on how to better take care of our Earth for future generations, Earth Day 2019 may be the most culturally relevant celebration of the holiday in many years. This year, we wanted to go back in time to learn more about how Earth Day was founded and what it means today. Let's get started!

The birth of Earth Day

While we recognize Earth Day on April 22nd every year, it hasn't always been this way. In fact, until 1970, Earth Day wasn't even a thing, let alone an International holiday! 

The movement began in 1969, following the Santa Barbara Oil Blowout - an incredibly destructive and deadly oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. On January 28th, 1969, more than 3 million gallons of oil spewed from a well drilled off the California coast, ultimately killing over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. Without a moment's hesitation, activists mobilized to create environmental regulations focused on reducing drilling and destroying natural habitats, and from this activism, the concept of Earth Day was born. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the founder of Earth Day, was first driven to institute the holiday after flying over the Santa Barbara Channel and witnessing, first-hand, the 800 square mile oil slick. 

On the one-year anniversary of the blowout, Environmental Rights Day was celebrated for the first time. The organizers of the celebration worked closely with Congressman Pete McCloskey (R-CA) to create the Environmental Policy Act, the first of many environmental protection laws that were drafted in response to the oil spill. 

Following the enactment of the Environmental Policy Act, Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) founded Earth Day, and here we are!

What's Earth Day all about? 

Earth Day is a celebration of environmental awareness and taking care of the Earth. While industry thrived in the early 20th century, and the current state of American ideals were shaped, it wasn't until later in the century that the general public, and eventually lawmakers, were enthusiastic about taking care of the environment. Until just recently, gas-powered vehicles and engines were still extremely popular and many people didn't think twice about their carbon footprint. 

Much has changed, however. The days of fossil fuel emissions gone wild and plastic garbage flooding the Earth are slowly moving behind us as we move toward a greener, healthier future. That is what Earth Day is all about. The recognition that this planet is not just for humans, and it's not just going to be inhabited by the humans that are alive right now. Future generations of humans, plants, and animals alike will depend on the Earth just as we do today, and it's our duty to ensure that is a legitimate possibility.

In fact, that's part of why we started Corked. We've mentioned this before, but natural products are the name of the game here. Additionally, focusing on reducing our negative impact on our environment is paramount in our personal lives, which is why we were so motivated to use natural products and eventually start our own business in which natural products were the centerpiece. 

This year, we encourage you to follow your heart when you celebrate Earth Day and do whatever you feel is the best way to show your love for Mother Earth. If you're a gardener, plant some flowers or trees! If you're a runner, pick up some trash on your run. If you're a musician, write a song to commemorate the day and sing to your friends and family! Whatever you choose, you'll definitely feel great about what you're doing for the planet, and that's what Earth Day is all about. 

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