By Georgina Alford
Earth day is a global movement to create awareness about the impact we have on this earth’s natural resources and taking action to reduce our carbon footprints.
In 1970, people were becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of human activity. As a result, Earth Day was born. It is celebrated on the 22nd of April around the world. With involvement from over a billion people every year, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance globally. Originally, Earth Day was only celebrated in America, but in 1990, Earth Day became a landmark event for over 190 countries. Earth Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the work and achievements of environmental activists, policy-makers, and individuals who are all working towards making the planet more sustainable. However, it is also a time to recognize the concerning environmental challenges we face.
Earth Day has helped prioritize environmental issues on the global stage – in fact, the first global Earth Day celebration helped inspire the first United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Since then, people have continued to strive towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.
Many countries have joined the Earth Day Network – a non-profit organization whose mission is to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement worldwide. First, “Broaden” seeks a more inclusive understanding of the term “environment,‟ such as greening deteriorated schools, creating green jobs and investment, and promoting activism to stop air and water pollution. Second, “Diversify‟ aims to partner with a number of different organizations to ensure that the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups in lower-income countries are heard. And third, “Mobilize‟ lies at the heart of Earth Day as it focuses on engaging civic populations and mobilizing people around the world.
This year, the theme for Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth‟. The President of the Earth Day Network, Kathleen Rogers, says ,“This Earth Day, we have an important opportunity to challenge world leaders to see climate change for what it is – a pressing global security threat, one that threatens everyone and everything but particularly our most vulnerable people and places”. The Earth Day Network is aligning with a number of youth activists including Greta Thunberg, who at the tender age of 15, was central in calling for stronger action on climate change through a school strike in Sweden. By calling out politicians and organizations to take affirmative action, Earth Day provides a platform to engage with environmental issues on both global, national, and local levels. Find out more on the website: https://www.earthday.org/
For 51 tips on how you can take action to be environmentally friendlier look here: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-tips/