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The Purpose of Earth Day: Then and Now

Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. After years of conservation reform efforts, he was mortified by the impact of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, so he gathered support and organized a national movement that focused on educating the public about the environment.

The idea and ensuing events garnered unusual political unity, with participation from Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural, individuals and businesses. By the end of that year, the movement led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Many of those early leaders came together for the greater good, to protect the earth for future generations. Through the years, the momentum grew and businesses started to recognize that practicing sustainability is not only good for the environment, it is good for business. It is well documented that sustainability initiatives impact the bottom line, with reduced operating expenses, lower healthcare costs, healthier employees and improved corporate image.

Today more than ever, people are conscientious of how their behavior impacts the world around them. What is truly exciting is that new technology is evolving that protects the earth while improving business advantages at the same time.

At Faith Technologies, we acknowledge our important corporate responsibility to make a difference in our world. Sustainability and environmental stewardship are identified as priorities in our community involvement program. We also incorporate these strategies into our business innovation, through our increased focus on renewable energy solutions.

In 2017, Faith made a significant investment in the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve to support the construction of a new, energy-efficient environmental center powered by a state-of-the-art microgrid. This modern system provides the non-profit organization with renewable energy and educates students and visitors about the most advanced energy conservation methods in the world. Faith Technologies partnered with Schneider Electric to design the one-of-a-kind microgrid to demonstrate the cleanest, most reliable and efficient energy solutions available today.

It is predicted that in the next 40 years, our nation’s energy consumption will almost double, increasing cost and pollution (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Energy solutions like the microgrid at Bubolz will help provide clean, reliable energy with distributed energy resources that are renewable. The Bubolz microgrid is expected to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by 851 tons per year. This is equivalent to preserving seven acres of forest from deforestation, recycling 297 tons of waste, and conserving 92 households worth of electricity.

We have come a long way since the first Earth Day in 1970, but we must keep the momentum going to leverage the progress that has been made by those who came before us. This Earth Day, April 22, 2018, Faith Technologies will join other community organizations in celebrating the opening of the new environmental center at the inaugural Fox Cities Earth Day Festival. The festival will give us an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come, while recognizing the important work that is still ahead of us. It will help us remember why Earth Day was founded in the first place: “The fate of the living planet is the most important issue facing mankind.” — Gaylord Nelson.