Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Earth Day Network has been at work to build and inspire the environmental movement in the United States and around the world. It’s a movement defined by environmental activism, community engagement, civic involvement and the collective power of individual action — and it continues to produce incredible achievements.
Below are just some of our notable and hard-fought victories:
EDN has registered over one million environmental voters and was the first group to build relationships with African American and Latino faith groups around environmental activism.
A Billion Acts of Green
The largest environmental service campaign in the world is steadily building commitments by individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments to protect the planet. EDN launched the campaign in 2010 and met its goal of registering one billion actions in advance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. We’re now past 2 billion Acts of Green and heading for our third billion.
The Canopy Project
Since 2010, EDN has planted hundreds of millions of trees in 32 countries, focusing on areas most in need of reforestation. The Canopy Project has empowered rural and urban people to conserve, repair, and restore tree cover to their lands and rebuild local economies.
Green Ribbon Schools
Launched in 2011, the Green Ribbon Schools Program is the first federal program that recognizes public and private schools that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health of students and staff, and provide interdisciplinary environmental education. EDN was integral in creating the Green Ribbon Schools award alongside the US Green Building Council and the Department of Education.
National Civic Education Program (NCEP)
Working from the ground up, the NCEP empowers selected teachers and students to remedy specific environmental concerns in their communities. To date, more than 20 projects have been undertaken with huge success!
In conjunction with Rovio Entertainment, EDN released Angry Birds Champions for Earth, a weeklong global tournament that challenged players to learn about and help solve the climate crisis. Available in five languages, the tournament was promoted by seven ‘champions,’ namely Ian Somerhalder, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Sonam and Anil Kapoor, and the Korean boy band VIXX (see the video here). The game was downloaded by millions and gave players opportunities to sign a climate petition, plant trees, and engage on social media.
Women and the Green Economy (WAGE)
An initiative focused on promoting women’s leadership in designing and advancing the green economy. This campaign was borne out of a desire to end the scarcity of women in bodies that govern and shape our economy, specifically in approaching global solutions to climate change.
Global Water Network
In March 2009, EDN launched a water-focused web portal that brings professionals, activists, and the public together to a single site focused entirely on the global fresh water crises.
Pope Francis Addresses Congress
In September 2015, Pope Francis addressed the U.S. Congress while EDN hosted a rally on the National Mall to watch the broadcast speech, which included a call for action on climate. Less than a month later, EDN was invited to the Vatican to take part in the March for the Earth from the Coliseum to St Peter’s Square.
EDN organized a record 1,100 Earth Day campus events in April 2009, including over 230 youth voter registration projects on college campuses. EDN’s “Call for Climate” motivated over a million people to ask Congress for immediate and comprehensive action on climate change.
EDN helped pass legislation providing roughly $7 billion in grants to green low-income schools across the country — the first federal grant program for greening schools.
Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day
On April 18, 2015, a rally was held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., bringing together world leaders, corporate innovators and other dignitaries. In front of an audience of more than a quarter million people, critical commitments to address climate change were made.
Highlights of those commitments include:
- The Global Environmental Facility’s $200 million investment in ocean cleanup;
- The World Bank’s new Pollution Management and Environmental Health Trust Fund (PMEH);
- A commitment from various organizations to register one million new climate voters for the 2016 election;
- Interfaith Power & Light’s (IFPL) call to reduce carbon pollution 50 percent by 2030;
- UNEP and EPA’s Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint;
- EDN’s climate education initiative, The Story of Climate Change, the first-ever iTextbook on climate change.
March for Science Earth Day 2017
On April 22, 2017, 150,000 supporters of climate science and evidence-based facts came out on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day to stand with us for truth.
The Washington DC event became the flagship for rallies, marches, protests and teach-ins in more than 600 cities all across the world — an unprecedented global statement of unity and strength. Millions more watched online.