In 1962 a book was published, entitled Silent Spring. That book awakened the people to the dangers and devastation brought about by chemical pesticides on people and the environment. Written by Rachel Carson, the book accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and presented research on an environmental crisis caused by pesticides. The title – Silent Spring – spoke to the possibility of a Springtime in which there are no more birds singing.
The book was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, but the people, especially young people, were persuaded and they insisted on changes and new laws. Rachel Carson’s book led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses. It turns out that the research was correct, and the chemical companies were deceitful, seeking profit at the expense of nature and life. Carson’s book helped to inspire the environmental movement, and it led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Later in the decade, in 1969, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River actually caught on fire due to the river being a dumping ground for chemical waste. This event served once again to awaken people to the environmental destruction. Up until that time, there was little concern for how corporations and their products were affecting nature or damaging natural resources and people as well. Factories pumped pollutants into the air and companies dumped toxins into lakes and rivers with few, if any, legal consequences. Auto manufacturers produced gas-guzzling cars burning leaded fuel and trash was thrown away with no thought of recycling.
Thanks to Rachel Carson and an awakened, protesting population, things changed. Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and it is still celebrated today, 51 years later. The holiday is now a global celebration that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, with many events focused on green living. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson is credited with establishing Earth Day as a “national teach-in on the environment.” The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. Students and young people embraced it, and environmental causes were brought into the national spotlight.
The following information is gleaned from an Earth Day History website: “The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air—and they did so with spectacular exuberance.”
And thus it began. Thanks to the battles of the sixties and seventies, AMS Fulfillment came into being with a certain amount of ‘green’ awareness. Recycling was done from the beginning, and in the years that followed, environmental awareness increased. AMS associates organized a Green Team with the encouragement of Management in order to find ways to reduce our footprint and put the changes into effect. We are proud of our Green Team, and we look forward to publishing a report from this team in recognition of Earth Day.
Let’s celebrate the EARTH every day!!