Earth Day’s 48th anniversary celebrated

Anna Levin, HHS Kiss and Tell Co-Editor

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Hershey High School students are being pushed to save the planet by using reusable water bottles instead of typical plastic ones. The Earth Day celebration this year focused on fighting to end the use of plastic that is damaging to the environment. (Broadcaster/Anna Levin)

Sunday, April 22 marks the 48th anniversary of the Earth Day celebration.

Earth Day is an environmental movement started to fight air pollution created during the Vietnam war, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN).

The founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, thought of the idea after witnessing the passion students in California felt about the end of the war. Nelson knew that if he could infuse the students’ passions with the need to preserve the planet, it would force the government to create environmental protection programs. Following a massive oil spill in 1969, Nelson announced his idea, and with the help of Congressman Pete McCloskey, Nelson was able to create the first Earth Day.

On April 22, 1970, hundreds of people began to protest pollution caused by hundreds of years of damage caused by the industrialization. Earth Day is celebrated by nearly a billion people worldwide, connecting all of them through a desire to provoke political change. Through the world wide protest, the U.S. decided to finally take action on the issue of environmental protection.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 went into effect the following year, becoming a landmark law that requires every major decision of the federal government to be evaluated for its impact on the environment,” according to National Geographic.

This year, the EDN is fighting to end plastic pollution through promoting 100% recyclable materials and ending the use of plastic products like water bottles and plates.

To take part in Earth Day this year, join the Movement on the EDN’s website. Spread the word about the damage plastic causes to the environment, and try to reduce the use of non-recyclable plastic products.