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How has our environment been impacted since the first earth day?

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Earth Day began in America in 1970 as a way to get people to focus on the environment, raising the awareness of it and how we impact on it (for better or worse). It led to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in that year, and spearheaded modern environmental campaigns. 1990 saw a reincarnation of Earth Day that went global and involved 141 countries. 2000 saw Earth Day encompass 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups, and harnessed the internet to rally support. Earth Day 2010 was next, and Earth Day 2020 is already being organised with a reported one billion people taking part. 

For those who think that the global consciousness sparked at that first Earth Day has had little impact on the environment, read on for how it has changed people, and therefore the environment, for the better.

Children are more involved now, with many school curriculums drawing on research to teach the next generation how to better manage the Earth and its resources. By using social media, children can have an impact and make changes that change their future, before they’ve left school. There are university degrees aimed at improving the environment, and councils, states and national governments have agencies charged with doing the same. These protective departments have saved rivers, lakes and other water catchment areas from industrial pollution, with flow on effects for fishing, farming and other primary industries. Even the exhaust from our car has changed for the better, with less environmental pollution.

While mining continues to flourish, our reliance on fossil fuels is gradually dwindling with other viable options being developed and decreasing in price. Renewable energies such as wind and solar have less of an environmental impact and as research continues, will continue to become cheaper. As the rooves on homes continue to sprout solar panels, our atmosphere will benefit.

One beneficial outcome of research into alternative sources for every day requirements, such as lighting, are LED bulbs. These handy little household items are great not only for the environment, but your wallet:

  • They last up to 50,000 hours, meaning less waste from burnt-out bulbs
  • LED bulbs contain less toxic chemicals, not only from during the actual manufacturing process, but as part of their mechanism (chemicals that are released into the environment when the bulbs are smashed)
  • They use up to 80% of the energy they require, which means less waste
  • They require less energy to function, in general (can you see a pattern here?)
  • LED bulbs are a great outcome from research initiated by environmentally conscious people, spurred into action at the first Earth Day in 1970. 

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