It’s that time of year again — time to celebrate our planet and all it has to offer! Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd, and this year marks the 52nd anniversary of the event.
So, what is Earth Day all about? And how did it come to be? Here’s why you should celebrate Earth Day.
Who Created Earth Day?
The first Earth Day was held on April 22nd, 1970. The event was organized by Gaylord Nelson, a Democratic senator from Wisconsin. Nelson was inspired by the student-led anti-war protests of the 1960s and wanted to create a similar mass movement for environmental protection.
The idea of Earth Day caught on quickly, and soon thousands of schools and communities were planning events and activities. By the end of 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans had participated in Earth Day activities.
Earth Day Goes International
In 1990, Earth Day went global, with events being held in 141 countries. And today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 countries around the world.
Earth Day Themes
Each year, Earth Day has a different theme. Past themes have included "Protect Our Earth," "Restore Our Earth," and "Climate Action." This year’s theme is "Invest in Our Planet" as a way to promote a green economy.
What Can You Do on Earth Day?
Making plans to celebrate Earth Day does not have to be stressful and is something you can continue all year.
Educate yourself and others about environmental issues
Your environmental education doesn’t have to end after Earth Day. Learn about climate change, air pollution, water conservation, and other important topics year-round. Start by looking at reliable sources like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.
Reduce your energy consumption
Energy consumption is a major contributor to climate change. So, on Earth Day (and every day), try to use less energy. Turn off lights when you leave a room, unplug electronics when you’re not using them, and use energy-efficient light bulbs. You can also save energy (and money) by walking or biking instead of driving.
Recycle and compost
Recycling and composting are great ways to reduce waste and help the environment. Start your compost by collecting food scraps and yard waste in a bin or pile. Then, add these items to your compost pile or bin regularly. You can also recycle items like paper, plastic, and metal.
Plant a tree
Trees help improve air quality, conserve energy, and reduce noise pollution. If you don’t have space for a tree, consider planting a bush or flower instead.
Walk or ride your bike instead of driving.
Many cities now have bike-sharing programs, such as Citi Bikes in NYC. This makes it easy and convenient to ride a bike without having to own one. There are also more designated bike lanes than ever before. So, take advantage of these resources and walk or ride your bike instead of driving whenever possible.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, the important thing is that you do something to show your support for our planet on Earth Day!
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