Why is earth so special? Well, scientists all over the world have been trying to find other hospitable planets for years now, but we still have a long way to go. Not every planet has just the right elements to support us. Which means, there is no Planet B, yet. And that makes celebrating Earth Day so important. The idea is to respect the earth, become more aware of our environment and natural resources, appreciate what we have, protect the same, and ensure that our future generations can live a healthy, happy life.
So, what really happens on Earth Day? Every year, on the 22nd of April, billions of people around the world raise their voices against the growing effects of pollution, toxic dumps, oil spills, burning of fossil fuels, depleting forests, and wildlife extinction.
In fact, you might be intrigued to know that Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970.
The aim of all the demonstrations held on this day is to attract the attention of governments and compel them to take immediate and effective actions on environmental issues affecting our climate and health. Every year, on Earth Day, we need to reflect on the significance of our planet and how every one of us can contribute towards protecting it. The good news is, thanks to the growing popularity of Earth Day, several national and international policies are already in place to protect the environment and prevent industries and unsustainable companies from causing harm. To know more about this special day, read on.
Origin of Earth Day and Its Significance
In January 1969, Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson, was deeply affected by the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and the damage it was causing to the nearby wilderness. He partnered with Pete McCloskey, a Republican Congressman, and Denis Hayes, a young activist, to unite students, faith groups, independent activists, and other organisations to protest the deterioration of the environment due to 150 years of industrial development.
The movement brought all kinds of people together. Rich and poor, farmers and urban dwellers, workers and leaders, Republicans and Democrats, everyone took to the streets to celebrate the first Earth Day. After just one year of its inception, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created, and several laws were implemented, like Clean Air Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, National Environment Education Act, Endangered Species Act, and more.
What started as a national movement in the US soon took a global form, with Denis Hayes inspiring around 200 million people in 141 countries to bring the problem of environmental issues onto the world stage in 1990. Just 2 years later, United Nations held its first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2022 – this year, Earth Day will be celebrated by more than a billion people across 190 countries, making it the largest secular observance in the world. Even in 2020, when the world was suffering from COVID pandemic, people around the globe showed their concern for our planet in different ways. That is because people are not satisfied by the actions being taken by their respective governments and the fight for a clean environment has become more urgent.
Theme of Earth Day 2022
Every year, the Earth Day organization announces a new theme for people to follow. The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Invest in Our Planet”, encouraging people to act boldly, innovate broadly, and implement equitably.
As per this year’s theme, the organization is asking everyone to join hands to solve the climate crisis and help build a healthier planet for future generations. Private companies, along with support from public bodies, need to adopt sustainable business practices for both humanitarian and business reasons and develop strong Environment Social Governance standards.
Respective governments should also incentivize their institutions, businesses, and citizens and make it a lucrative option for them to work towards building a greener and more resilient future. Also, boycotting companies and products that don’t follow standard environmental guidelines and sustainability, is a great step towards making this initiative a reality.
How Can You Help on Earth Day?
If you are wondering how to take that first step towards making our planet a better place, head to the Earth Day website, find an event near you, and register yourself. You can also use their map to look for different events across the country and the world to see how dedicated people are when it comes to saving the environment. And remember, as we said before, there is no Planet B. So, it’s not enough to just explore it or click beautiful pictures. Do your bit to save it too!