The Roots (no pun intended) of Earth Day
Since 1970, April 22nd has been celebrated as Earth Day, an idea U.S. Senator Nelson, from Wisconsin, came up with after witnessing a horrific oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The goal of Earth Day is to promote nationwide events as a “national teach-in on the environment”. By 1990, Earth Day became a global event. By 1995, President Clinton had awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to U.S. civilians, for his role as Earth Day founder.
Lights Out… And Then Some
When my kids were younger, our city promoted Earth Hour (on Earth Day) by asking all residences to turn off their lights for one hour, starting at 8:30pm. I told my children we had to turn off all electricity (except the refrigerator, of course) and play outside for an hour. They had so much fun playing in the dark yard, I didn’t tell them to come in when the ‘dark hour’ was up. Our “Earth Hour” lasted nearly 3 hours and, at last, coming in the back door exhausted and still laughing, my son said, “I wish every day was Earth Day”.
Each and Every Day
This is true at U-Haul. Long before the word sustainability became integrated into sound business practices, U-Haul has been working to protect the environment with new strategies each and every decade. In the 1940s, U-Haul re-purposed resources, using surplus wood, steel, car springs, etc. to build the first U-Haul trailers after World War II. In the 1950s, U-Haul first put road-speed control devices into trucks for better fuel economy. In the 1960s, U-Haul installed seat belts into all trucks, an industry first, long before any Federal or State requirements to do so. In the 1970s, U-Haul began many sustainability initiatives to recycle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the 1980s, U-Haul focused on more-aerodynamic truck features to reduce fuel consumption. In the 1990s, sustainability initiatives included biodegradable packing peanuts and recycled-content moving pads. Now, into this century, U-Haul has a dedicated Corporate Sustainability team that works with team members system-wide towards a more-sustainable future. You can read about the commitment U-Haul has each and every (Earth) day at http://www.uhaul.com/About/Sustainability.aspx