Milestones in the environmental movement.
TRC News

Environmental Milestones

Posted Jun 25, 2018

The modern environmental movement is at least 46 years young.  But many identify the late 1800s and early 1900s as the true start of environmentalism.  Political progressives, transcendental writers like Emerson and Thoreau, political leaders like President Teddy Roosevelt and the leaders of the progressive movement all affirmed the importance of protecting natural resources.  As such, the early 20th century saw legal and social moves to create national parks, protect wildlife and otherwise “conserve” natural resources. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring that inspired the modern environmental crusade.  She took up the legacy of leadership and articulated serious concerns about the impact of the modern age on the environment.

Two months ago, the world celebrated Earth Day. And next year, TRC will celebrate its 20th anniversary.  It is in this context that we are going to post a series of blogs about environmental milestones that have been achieved over the past four decades.  

In 1970, the “Environmental Magna Carta” became law.  Technically, this piece of legislation was titled the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.  This groundbreaking act required that every major decision of the federal government be reviewed for its environmental impact.  According to National Geographic, this law started the era of “environmental impact statements for building dams, roads and other major projects.”  https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-earth-day-46-facts-environment/

This legislation was only the beginning.  The 1970s were a time of rapid and dramatic environmental changes.  The concept of environmental tourism grew out of efforts to clean up rivers and lakes and protect other national waterways.  Dangerous pesticides like DDT were banned and the US saw endangered species like bald eagles and peregrine falcons come back from virtual extinction.  

Throughout the 1970’s the federal government passed numerous laws aimed at safeguarding our natural resources, protecting the environment and wildlife and keeping our families safe from the dangers of pollution. 

TRC has inherited the legacy of this movement born over forty years ago.  Although TRC is younger, we have played a critical role in protecting the environment by providing a safe process for the collection of mercury containing thermostats.  Check out some of our milestones. https://www.thermostat-recycle.org/about/milestones/