Earth Day and NRDC

On April 22, 1970, some 20 million people across the country rallied to protest the state of the planet. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, a dump for steel mills and other industries, had caught fire. A massive oil spill swamped the coast off Santa Barbara, and concerns about smog, DDT and water pollution were rising. The very first Earth Day was a grassroots revolution that spurred Congress to create America’s core environmental protection laws, and continues to be a day of celebration and activism worldwide.

NRDC was also born in 1970, as a group of lawyers dedicated to defending the health of the planet and its people. Since then, we’ve fought -– and won -– some historic environmental battles. Explore the history of our victories below!

Explore our progress from 1970 to the present

Recent Earth Day Posts

Get dirty so we can keep Earth clean
posted by Evan Feeney, 4/17/14
Cartoons don’t rot kids’ brains; cartoons with no message rot kids’ brains. Shows ...
Eight Energy-Saving Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day
posted by Noah Horowitz, 4/16/14
With Earth Day 2014 fast approaching (Tuesday, April 22), the 44th birthday of the modern environmental ...
On Food Day, A New Generation of Food Lawyers
posted by Margaret Brown, 10/24/13
It’s a pretty familiar story—on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in the ...


For Your Earth Day Table

Printable wallet cards and guides from NRDC

Mercury in Fish
A handy wallet card guide to eating fish safely.

Shop Smart, Save Forests
A shopper's guide to buying forest-friendly tissue, paper towels and toilet paper.

Nursery Shopping Checklist
Set up a safe, earth-friendly nursery for your baby.

A Dozen Things You Can Do
A colorful brochure featuring 12 simple things you can do to keep yourself, and the planet, healthy.

Five Daily Tips for Energy Efficiency
Save money and energy at home.

More from NRDC

This Green Life
NRDC's monthly column on sustainable living.

Green Eating Guide
Tips for making healthy food choices for you and the planet.

Recycling 101
A refresher course in the basics, and tips on how to boost your recycling game.

Got a burning environmental question? Chances are you'll find the answer in our FAQ.

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Earth Day Videos

YouTube Video
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Policy experts share their thoughts about the 40th Earth Day.


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