Industry insights

10 Earth Day Facts You Probably Didn't Know

2 min read


As 2023’s Earth Day approaches, this annual event is becoming more and more significant every year. As a global experience, millions of people participate in various activities to show their support for a more sustainable future. If you’re unfamiliar with Earth Day, we'll take a closer look at what it is and why we have it – and give you 10 Earth Day facts you probably didn’t know.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a truly global event dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues, sustainable practices, and the need to protect Earth's limited natural resources. But it’s also a day to celebrate the achievements of the worldwide environmental movement.

The idea for Earth Day came after US Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessed an environmental disaster caused by an oil spill in California in 1969. He was inspired to create a day dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues, promoting conservation efforts, and, importantly, putting pressure on the government to act.

Why do we have Earth Day?

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. A huge success, millions of people participated in rallies across the US. All this activity led to new laws and acts to protect the environment, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act.

After the first Earth Day and the introduction of US environmental laws, it inspired other countries to follow. As April 22nd rolls around once more, more than 190 countries will come together to pressure governments to act in the best interests of the environment, which is now more important than ever.

10 Earth Day Facts You Probably Didn't Know

  • Inspired by a group of Vietnam war protesters, the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22nd 1970 and used similar tactics to pressurise the government on environmental issues.
  • April 22nd was chosen as Earth Day because it was a natural time between the spring break and final exams in the US, and organisers wanted to maximise student involvement.
  • More than 20 million people across America took part in the first Earth Day, credited with helping launch the modern environmental movement.
  • In 1990, Earth Day became a global phenomenon and was celebrated by 200m people in 141 countries worldwide.
  • Every year, Earth Day chooses a different environmental theme to focus on. Some past themes have included green cities, climate action, plastic pollution, and clean air.
  • The theme for Earth Day 2023 is "Invest In Our Planet", which focuses on “governments, institutions, businesses, and the more than 1 billion annual Earth Day participants to do their part – everyone accounted for, everyone accountable.
  • In 2020, Earth Day went digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 1 billion people took part in online events and activities.
  • Earth Day’s ‘The Canopy Project’ has planted millions of trees worldwide to reforest areas at risk from climate change and environmental degradation.
  • The first Earth Day led to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is still responsible for creating and enforcing environmental acts and laws.
  • Earth Day is not a public holiday, but it’s a globally recognised day of awareness in over 190 countries, making it one of the largest awareness days in the world.

Earth Day – every action counts

Earth Day reminds us that we’re all responsible for caring for the Earth and that even small actions can make a big difference. Whether you take part in a local Earth Day event or commit to reducing your ecological or carbon footprint, every action counts to create a sustainable future.

Thirsty Work already does what it can to be a more sustainable company with our bottled water coolers and mains-fed water coolers. Our environmental policy sets out what we already do, but we always aim to do more whenever and wherever possible. 

To find out more, contact our customer service team today or start your no-obligation water cooler 10-day free trial. Call us on 01392 877 172 or email to get your free quote.