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Denis Hayes, Co-Founder of Earth Day.

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

We speak with Denis Hayes, co-founder and lead coordinator of Earth Day.

Working alongside U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Denis coordinated the first Earth Day on the 22nd April 1970 and took what was to be a one-time event to one that is now celebrated by over a billion people in 192 countries, making it the largest secular holiday in the world.

Denis takes us through his childhood growing up in a heavily polluted paper town, the events of the late 1960s that sparked the movement, from the Cuyahoga River catching fire to riots following plans to plough eight-lane freeways through vibrant inner cities. Following his first meeting with Senator Nelson, Denis tried to launch the movement on college campuses but soon discovered that it was young women who were going to play a key role in empowering the early movement.

We also touch on the earth hour initiative, the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and gain insights for a young person seeking a career in conservation. Denis recommends The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.

To learn more, please visit: EARTHDAY.ORG


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