Nowadays everyone know’s what Earth Day is. What you may not know is that the roots of Earth Day sprouted in our hometown of Santa Barbara, California. We’re not saying we moved here because it’s the birth place of Earth Day, but we love being part of an environmentally conscious community. Birds of a feather flock together, as they say.
The very first Earth Day in 1970 was a reaction to the oil spill of 1969 just off the shores of Santa Barbara. Then US Senator Gaylord Nelson recognized the oil spill as an absolute disaster for the environment. He also recognized the general feeling of unrest among young adults around the country in response to the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements. Harnessing the power of collective unrest, Nelson and grassroots organizations joined nation wide civil protests calling for increased environmental regulation. On April 22nd 1970, nearly 20 million Americans took to the streets to express their discontent for the current environmental approach of their government. These rallying cried did not go unheard. By the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was born and both the Clean Air and Clean Water Act were passed. This new legislation was a massive success for the protesters and a tangible result from the first Earth Day event.
47 years later, environmental protection and the voices who rally around it face new challenges with talks of dismantling the EPA. Eerily similar to the tumultuous months of 1970, there is much discontent with the approach the current administration takes towards environmental protection. In the spirit of comraderie, this Earth Day we call on each and every lover of the great outdoors to make your voice heard. Stand up for this planet with thousands of others from your community. Find your local Earth Day event or attend a satellite March For Science. Pledge to make more sustainable choices or spend the day swapping out lightbulbs and biking all weekend. Every little bit counts and YOU make a difference. Together we are a force and together we must protect the Earth – it’s the only planet that has beer. See you out there!