Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate our planet and environment. Get your child in the spirit by sharing these fun facts and statistics, which have a healthy dose of Earth Day history.

By Nicole Harris
Updated April 07, 2020
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Earth Day promotes international awareness of environmental protection and earth conservation. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach your child about important concepts, such as going green and reducing, reusing, and recycling.  Here are 10 Earth Day facts and statistics to share with your little one.

1. Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived Earth Day in the early 1960s.

Senator Nelson worried that environmental issues were not being addressed in the political arena, especially after he witnessed the aftermath of a California oil spill in 1969. He was inspired by Vietnam War protests to organize a nationwide grassroots demonstration to promote conservation involvement and awareness.

2. The first Earth Day was in 1970.

Nelson’s demonstration was set for April 22, 1970. It purposefully fell between spring break and final exams in the hope that college students would participate. About 20 million Americans showed their support, according to environmental advocacy group Earth Day Network, and it soon became the first official Earth Day. 

3. The government responded to Earth Day with environmental legislation.

Both republicans and democrats responded to the environmental conservation messages of Earth Day. It helped inspire the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

4. Earth Day went global in 1990.

Twenty years after the first Earth Day, the campaign spread internationally. The 1990 demonstration mobilized 200 million people in 141 countries, according to the Earth Day Network, and it gave major attention to environmental issues like recycling

5. About one billion people recognize Earth Day each year.

The Earth Day Network says it’s the “largest secular observance in the world,” and it currently reaches people in more than 190 countries. Online platforms and social media help share the important messages. 

6. Earth Day always falls on April 22.

Wondering when Earth Day is this year? It always takes place on April 22 as a nod to the first official demonstration. People worldwide participate with rallies, concerts, acts of service, outdoor activities, and more.

7. It’s known as “International Mother Earth Day” around the world.

The United Nations General Assembly came up with the moniker in 2009, although it never stuck in America.

8. Worldwide initiatives have benefited the environment.

Earth Day has inspired people worldwide to act for a cause. For example, more than 100,000 people in China rode bikes to work in 2012. Additionally, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan on Earth Day 2011. 

9. There’s an “official” Earth Day song.

One of the most popular Earth Day songs is Earth Anthem, which was written in 2013 by Indian poet Abhay Kumar. It has been translated in dozens of languages, including all official United Nations languages.

10. This year marks the 50th anniversary.

People worldwide will celebrate the 50th Earth Day on April 22, 2020. Earth Day Network is dedicating this special milestone to climate change action, which it calls an environmental priority. You can read more about Earth Day 2020 here. 

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