Earth Day, 49 Years 

Haleakala Maui, Hawaii | www.ravenswork.com

Haleakala Sunset, Maui, Hawaii

I remember the first Earth Day in 1970. We used different words back then: water pollution, air pollution, and ozone depletion. Aerosol spray was a threat. The first Earth Day and the actions that followed had broad support from the public and both Democrats and Republicans. Here’s a sampling of those actions. 

Within a year after the first Earth Day, the US had created the Environmental Protection Agency and passed the Clean Air, and Clean Water acts. In 1972 the Marine Protection Sanctuaries Act was established and DDT was banned, ’73 Endangered Species Act, ’74 Safe Drinking Water Act and phaseout of lead from gasoline, ’75 the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) was enacted, ’78 lead was removed from paint, and the use of chlorofluorocarbons as propellants was banned, ’90 Earth Day went global and lead was removed from gasoline, ’95 Senator Nelson was awarded the Presidential Metal of Freedom by Bill Clinton for founding Earth Day, ’76 Toxic Substance Control Act, ’80 Superfund cleanup program, ’82 International Whaling Commission, ’87 Saving Condors, ’88 Medical Waste Tracking Act, ’89 phaseout of asbestos, ’90 Clean Air Act undated, ’92 Rio Earth Summit, ’93 U.S. Green Building Council, ’93 Convention on Biodiversity, ’95 bald eagle recovery, ’97 Kyoto Protocol, 2000 Prius is introduced to the US, ’02 California passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard ushering in solar power, ’03 Tesla Motors founded, ’06 An Inconvenient Truth, ’07 Energy Independence Security Act, ’07 Walk Score founded, ’09 Pacific Remote Island National Monument was established, ’15 Paris Climate Agreement, ’17 tougher ozone standers, ’19 extended protections for two million acres of land across the US. And there have been countless local laws, initiatives, and cleanups.      

There’s more to come.