Every April 22nd marks the anniversary of Earth Day, a holiday celebrated to raise environmental awareness. The inspiration behind Mother Nature’s Birthday began when author Rachel Carson published the book “Silent Spring” in 1962 in hopes of informing people about the hazards of pesticides. The book revealed untold secrets regarding the detrimental side effects of pesticides on human health and surrounding animals, as it significantly decreased environmental biodiversity, caused water contamination and was even linked to cancer in humans.
Commonly used pesticides such as glyphosate and chlorpyrifos lead to human reproductive issues and birth defects, especially amongst agricultural workers located in rural areas. The public began learning about these chemicals, which sparked environmental advocacy and movements to help combat pesticide issues. Governments responded to the environmental outcry by enacting preventative measures such as the Clean Water Act of 1970 and the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Both policies aimed to achieve a more sustainable future by preserving water and air quality for upcoming generations.
Individuals can help protect the environment by recycling plastic bottles and glass, along with conserving water whenever possible. Simple tasks like these can really help conserve resources and contribute to a less wasteful environment.
As Earth Day approaches, it is important to familiarize yourself with the backstory of this special day. Looking ahead, I hope Earth Day continues to encourage new environmental possibilities around the world.