Earth Day is a day that is supposed to inspire more awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. It takes place each year on April 22. It now takes place in more than 193 countries around the world. During Earth Day, the world encourages everyone to turn off all unwanted lights. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. U Thant, the Secretary-General of United Nations at that time, has recognized it. While the first Earth Day focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 countries. Its name and concept were created by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco.