Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22nd April, to demonstrate and show support for environmental protection worldwide. It was first celebrated in 1970, so this year marks its 50th anniversary!
The coronavirus pandemic has stopped us all in our tracks and turned our world upside down. Originally we had grand plans of celebrating the day with the opening of our second concept store and the launch of our latest collection 04, all with an array of our closest friends, family and industry leaders. We’re a long way from that now, but that is no bad thing. As we reflect on what might have been, perhaps this is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. Quiet, reflective and enjoying some time to breathe.
Whilst there have been devastating human costs of this virus, one positive we can take from these sad and scary times is that we’ve shown that business as usual can be stopped in its tracks. And now it seems, anything is possible. We can reevaluate and readjust what normal looks like, putting Earth first.
THE HISTORY OF EARTH DAY
Let us set the scene… It is the year 1970, Concord makes its first supersonic flight, 100,000 people demonstrate in Washington DC against the Vietnam War, the US and UK lower the voting age to 18, the Beatles release their last album, and Earth Day is launched.
Whilst many people remained oblivious to environmental issues, the idea behind Earth Day came to its founder, Gaylord Nelson, in 1969 after a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. A U.S. Senator back then, Nelson was inspired by the student anti-war movement and realised that he could instil this energy in an emerging conscious community. With the aim of making it a national day, he brought environmentalism into the public eye by announcing the idea to the national media.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a sustainable future. By various groups joining forces, everyone realised that they shared common values and views, a rare political alignment. In response to this incredible show of support, by the end of that year the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created, alongside the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. What a result!
By 1990, Earth Day went global, inspiring over 200 million people across the world. It helped to pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and Gaylord Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 1995 for his role as Earth Day Founder. It is the highest honour given to civilians in the US!
2010 proved a difficult year with a mix of oil lobbyists, climate change deniers and a divided environmental community, but Earth Day continued, supported by the Earth Day Network. Persevering, the Earth Day Network launched the world’s largest environmental service project – A Billion Acts of Green®, launched a global tree planting initiative, which has grown into The Canopy Project, and formed 75,000 partners in 192 countries who observed Earth Day.
What Earth Day means to our #KindHumans?
Jemma Finch @storiesbehindthings
“For me, Earth Day is a chance to take a moment to reflect on the story behind what I own, what they mean to me and whether they prioritise the planet. Earth Day also reminds me how important it is for the planet to remain at the centre of a brands ethos.”
Nick, Co Founder @oceanbottle
"We shouldn't need the excuse of a special day to reflect, but for me it's a day to reflect how I impact the earth with my personal consumption and how I can improve in the year to come"
Alexandra Dudley @alexandradudley
“We only have one Earth, so we must keep her safe.”
Viola Hou @thesunshineeatery
“I think we all often feel a bit helpless and like our own actions are just a drop in the ocean but Earth Day encourages us to come together as a collective and work towards a kinder and sustainable future, not just today but everyday.”
Viola wears our Make Good T-shirt, archive collection.
Nadine Banks @nadinebanks
"Earth Day to me is a yearly reminder to reflect and refocus our thoughts on the planet. Both the good and bad. Our earth is so precious and beautiful, it’s the one thing we all have in common. But human activity is threatening the way we live and the future of our planet. By addressing climate change we can build a sustainable earth. Earth Day is a friendly reminder to act now!"
Nadine wears our Created From Waste T-Shirt in Clay.