Every year on April 22, people around the world celebrate Earth Day. The day marks the start of the environmental movement in 1970, and for the past 52 years has resulted in policy change and a greater awareness of the environment.
The very first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970. In 1990, Earth Day became a global event, mobilizing 200 million people to encourage environmental protection and get more serious about recycling. According to the Earth Day Network, 1 billion people participate in Earth Day festivities each year in 192 countries.
Here are some ideas for celebrating from home; for celebrations in your area, check-in with your local government:
-Plant a garden in your backyard or start a plant collection. No space for a garden? A small herb garden is an easy (and space-saving) way to grow your own herbs.
-Take a walk. This is already probably built into your social distancing schedule, so take some time to admire the beauty around you.
-Or take a virtual adventure. Go to the zoo or the aquarium or a natural wonder or landmarks by way of a virtual tour! Or take a Google Earth tour to check out cherry blossoms around the world or the famous tulips of The Netherlands.
-Educate yourself. We all know we should be reducing, reusing and recycling, and Earth Day is a perfect day to really do your research and pledge to do better for our planet.
-Start a compost.
-Donate. Pick a charity of your choice that protects the planet and promotes conservation — and donate!
Who Is Responsible for Starting Earth Day?
In 1969, junior senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin announced that he wanted to start a teach-in on college campuses to educate people about the dangers of air and water pollution. Senator Nelson was joined by Congressman Pete McCloskey and activist Denis Hayes, and together they organized teach-ins on April 22 across the United States. They announced that April 22 would be called Earth Day, and their teach-ins turned into 20 million Americans taking to the streets “to demonstrate against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development which had left a growing legacy of serious human health impacts,” according to the Earth Day Network.
The impact of the very first Earth Day was huge. It led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, which still exists today, and some of our most important environmental laws being passed. The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and more have been passed because of Earth Day’s impact!
Now, Earth Day is all about educating people about conservation, protesting against climate change and global warming and encouraging volunteering for the good of the planet.