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A Short History of Earth Day

A Short History of Earth Day

Earth Day was established in 1969 after a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbra outraged the community and inspired people to take action for the safety of the environment.


A Harvard graduate, Denis Hayes, approached Senator Gaylord Nelson known for his environmentalism – which was a rarity at the time – and asked him to organise permissions for a demonstration.


The event gathered a sprawling crowd that spilled across New York City’s Fifth avenue; opening up impassioned conversations for the first time, about issues of urban air pollution, freeways cutting through neighbourhoods, leaded paint, DDT, and of course the Santa Barbara oil spill that caused rivers to catch on fire.  


In 2020 Earth Day has grown significantly, with over 50 million participants each year. The 24-hour program issues hourly calls to action, which can be events, hashtag competitions, and DIY activities like ‘organise your own outdoor clean up’ or ‘create Earth Day Inspired Art’. And all of that is happening right now! 


We’ve taken to the whiteboards today, to create some inspiring Earth Day drawings like these ones, but using our AusPens.


Head over to the Earth Day site browse their exciting program of live events and more activity inspiration for how you can get involved. 

 

Illustration credits clockwise from: 

'Apart but connected' by Iliana Galvez.

'Heal Her' by Geraluz.

'Live in Balance' courtesy Earth Day.

 


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