Today marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual occasion on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
In observance, NSSGA President and CEO Mike Johnson said, “On Earth Day 2014 it is important to note that progress has been made in the effort to clean our air and water so that our children will inherit a cleaner and safer world for future generations. But our efforts must continue.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Trends, between 1980 and 2012, the gross domestic product increased 133 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 92 percent, energy consumption increased 27 percent and the U.S. population grew by 38 percent. During the same time period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 67 percent. Additionally, from 1990 to 2008, emissions of air toxics declined by approximately 62 percent.
Johnson continued, “Sustainability is not just an idea, but the way the aggregates industry does business. NSSGA members invest heavily to protect their communities’ air and water, as well as voluntarily engaging in creating wildlife habitats and conserving water and energy. Our materials not only go into roads, bridges and airports but are also integral parts of cleaning air and water for our communities. NSSGA members have spent the past several decades working to protect the environment, and plan to spend the next improving on our past successes.”