Have I miscounted? Has it actually been 43 years since the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970?
I was teaching earth science in Pomona California. I remember organizing a "clean up" day, kids picking up litter and trash in their neighborhoods. They solicited money from residents (probably mostly parents) which, if remember right, came to around $350. We sent it to an animal "shelter" (zoo) in Edmonton Canada. We had seen a National Geographic film on the Craig brother's efforts to save wild animals, and wanted to help with financial support.
Over the years, my students continued to "celebrate" Earth Day by doing something good for the planet. Of course, my motto was "every day is Earth Day".
I'm still picking up trash along my county roads. All the efforts made to prevent littering hasn't seemed to have had any impact on our habits. I'm just hoping some of my former students are trying to change the world for the better.