A Brief History of Earth Day

A Brief History of Earth Day


Every year on April 22nd, people around the world gather together to honour our planet and our home. It is a day to acknowledge the importance of protecting the Earth, and taking part in activities or discussions on how we can be advocates for environmental change. But what many people don’t know is, the first Earth Day was only in the 1970s!


The very first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States in 1970, a time of air pollution, a booming economy, and industrial prosperity. But, this had detrimental effects on the Earth. Environmental issues began to gain traction at this time, and seemed to be ignored by many politicians all while factories spewing black smoke into the air for hours was the norm. There was no legislation against it, and no regulators to stop it. But, senator by the name of Gaylord Nelson decided he was fed up with being ignored by people in power, and decided to create a day to showcase people’s concern for the environment and demonstrate that people cared and were ready for action. Thus, Earth Day was born as a way to force this issue to the forefront of politics and demand action. Even better, 20 million Americans across the country stood behind him. As Nelson says himself:

“While I was confident that a nationwide peaceful demonstration of concern would be impressive, I was not quite prepared for the overwhelming response that occurred on that day.”

The response was better than Nelson or anyone could have expected, and was proof that rallying together truly works. The December after Earth Day was founded, Congress created a new federal agency to face environmental issues: The Environmental Protection Agency – their job including researching and tackling environmental issues. Several important pieces of American legislation followed and passed like the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and many more. These pieces of legislation not only changed the USA’s environmental trajectory, but trajectories elsewhere as well.

The first global Earth Day occurred in 1990, and change has sprung about all over the world for environmental action. The 1992 Earth Summit brought together 179 nations to produce two very important frameworks: A Framework Convention on Climate Change, and a Framework Convention on Biological Diversity. These aimed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity all around the globe. Environmental movements have snowballed ever since, with climate change becoming a household name and many very passionate people doing their best to combat it. Earth Day ignited environmental activism, and every year it serves as a reminder that the planet we live on is important, and it is our responsibility to care for it.

Earth Day 2024

The theme of Earth Day 2024 was planet versus plastics, demanding we reduce plastic pollution by 60% by 2040. Single use plastics are a scourge to the planet, and we have the power to come together again and stop it. Collectively, the world uses around 5 trillion plastic bags per year. Here at SR Mailing, we feel passionately about the no plastic movement, and think recycling and alternative materials are the way to go. Which is why we offer both for your packaging needs. Whether you want paper mailing bags, compostable mailing bags, or mailing bags made from already used plastic – we’ve got options to fit your business’s needs. By choosing packaging with a smaller footprint, it showcases your commitment to eco-friendly change, and showcases it to your customers too. In honour of Earth Day, consider making the switch to some of our eco-products today!

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Kun Feng
Kun Feng is the foremost sustainable packaging expert who possesses the fundamental eco-knowledge and passion necessary to drive new levels of eCommerce growth without compromising people, the planet, or the economy. 

As the co-founder and managing director of SR Mailing, He has successfully helped over 9,000 eCommerce businesses transform into sustainable suppliers and takes pride in being able to offer eco-friendly packaging solutions that bolster eCommerce reputation and scalability, all while supporting the bigger picture along the way.

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Kun Feng

Managing Director