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The idea for the first Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, saw the deteriorating environment in the United States. After his election in to the Senate in 1962, Nelson discovered that Washington had no environmental political agenda despite the many urgent national issues. Nelson believed in the political power of ordinary citizens coupled with the government’s ability to promote the public good. Earth Day’s massive public support forced politicians to see the severity of the problems and the extent of public concern.

The first Earth Day galvanized Congress into creating some of the most important U.S. environmental legislation: the Clean Water Acts, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Federal Pesticides Act, the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Education Act, and the National Trails System Act. 

“The opportunity for a gradual but complete break with our destructive environmental history and a new beginning is at hand…. We can measure up to the challenge if we have the will to do so — that is the only question. I am optimistic that this generation will have the foresight and the will to begin the task of forging a sustainable society.”  Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day was a watershed moment for environmental politics. What watershed moments do we need today to galvanize action, policy, and corporate citizenship on behalf of the earth?
https://www.youtube.com/embed/WbwC281uzUs?wmode=opaqueBy 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.

With the celebration of Earth Day, we decided to continue the discussion of a green Earth and highlight composting in this week’s 1 Planet News. Here’s a list of a “beginners guide” to composting from home. ​

Sustainability Spotlight: Tony’s Coffee

Sustainability Spotlight: Tony’s Coffee

How did sustainability start for Tony’s? Our sustainability journey can be traced back to 2002, when we began sourcing Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown coffee. Since then, we moved to 100% green power, doubled our roasting efficiency, offset our roastery’s carbon footprint, and continue to support causes that we care about. Our commitment to sourcing…

Sustainability Spotlight: Aslan Brewing Company

Sustainability Spotlight: Aslan Brewing Company

Aslan Brewing Company, a member of Sustainable Connections, is based in Bellingham, WA and was founded in 2012. From the beginning, every decision the Aslan founders made was through the lens of sustainability. When Aslan opened its brewpub doors in May of 2014, team members focused on crafting world-class beer with local ingredients and low-impact…

Sustainability Spotlight: Brio Laundry and Cleaners

Sustainability Spotlight: Brio Laundry and Cleaners

Buckminster Fuller once said, “In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. That, in essence, is the higher service to which we are all being called.” Colleen Unema combined her educator mindset with a…

California testing solar-paneled canals

California testing solar-paneled canals

The Turlock Irrigation District approved a pilot project testing the construction of solar panels over canals in the San Joaquin Valley. Key takeaways: The decision was based on research demonstrating that covering the 4,000 miles of California’s water canals with solar panels could reduce evaporation by as much as 82%, saving up to 63 billion…

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