Earth Day is observed next on Monday, April 22nd, 2024 (141 days from today).
Each year on April 22nd, there are a lot of campaigns in the world to promote ways to save the Earth. It is time of Earth Day.
History of Earth Day
The first celebration was commemorated on April 22nd, 1970. Before that, there was almost no environmental movement. Factories pump toxins into the air, recycling is virtually non-existent, and gas-guzzling vehicles are the norm. However, the seeds of the modern movement were sown with the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. This book raised public awareness of pollution and its effect on health. In 1969, water pollution and the disposal of chemical waste came to public attention, after the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire.
Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin cares deeply about environmental issues. After witnessing the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969, he began planning the first Earth Day. This was a time of protests and teaching during the Vietnam War, and Nelson thought he could bring the problem of pollution into the public consciousness by organizing similar types of teaching. He hopes that by illuminating environmental issues in this way, there may be an opportunity to bring them into the realm of national priorities, where they have yet to be seen. Earth Day was announced at a conference in Seattle in September 1969.
Nelson told the media that there would be an environmental briefing and started organizing. Pete McCloskey, Republican Representative from California, became co-chair of the first Earth Day. Denis Hayes, Stanford University's youth student president, becomes the country coordinator with 85 staffs and organizations including student volunteers and members of Senator Nelson's office. April 22nd was chosen because it was between spring break and final exams, so more college students could participate.
Twenty million people participated in the first year. Environmental protests have been held in most major US cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York City. Various environmental groups joined forces in a way they had never done before, awareness increased and public attitudes changed.
Nelson's goal of changing national priorities soon became a truth. Then, it was the foundation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Earth Day also helped introduce the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. All of these laws were passed within three years of the first Earth Day.
The twentieth anniversary of the 1990s became a global campaign. Dennis Hayes hosted the event once again with more than 200 million participants from 141 countries. The focus these days is on raising awareness about and increasing recycling around the world. Hayes also hosted the event in 2000, with global warming and clean energy as the focus. There was participations of 5,000 environmental groups and 184 countries in this holiday.
There was 250,000 participants in a climate protest at the National Mall in 2010 and an environmental service project called A Billion Actions of Green was started. A tree planting project in beginning, however, it eventually became the Canopy Project. Almost every country in the world participates in this day. Today, more than a billion people participate each year, making it the largest secular ceremony in the world. It gather all people and take part in political actions in Earth Day to impress marches, petitions, and rallies, as well as cleaning up residential areas, roads, rivers, parks and beaches.
How to celebrate Earth Day
- Become a waste warrior
The number of American garbage trucks filling up each year would stretch to half a moon. Toilet paper tubes take two months to decompose in a landfill because of making from cardboard. A plastic bottle lasts longer; it can take more than 450 years to decompose! But instead of dumping them in the trash, you can turn these items into a great telescope or flowerpot. Before you throw something away, think about whether it can be recycled or reused. You can also reduce waste by reducing the amount you buy. For example, check the library to find a book you must read before visiting the store.
- Plant a tree
It was estimated that each year had around 15 billion trees cut down in the world, so help make up for that loss by planting one of your own. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen for humans to breathe. Moreover, some animals are supplied the shelter and food such as squirrels and owls. Depending on the location that plants are grown, their shade can help to reduce the need for air conditioning during hotter months. How many reasons do you need to do it right now?
- Turn off the light
Does that light really need to be on while the sun is out? Electricity is not generated by itself, but it must be created from things around us. Sometimes, fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or natural gas also contribute to climate change. However, wind, water, sun, and even elephant dung are some examples of renewable sources that can generate electricity! No matter where it comes from, try to save electrical energy by using only what you need.
- Limit your water usage
It seems to be everywhere, but clean, potable water is a limited resource. Do you know the interesting fact that there is less than one percent of the water on Earth used by humans? Because the rest is too salty or too hard to achieve. When you brush your teeth, turning off the shower, which is a small thing but can save up to eight gallons of water a day. To help save water even more, challenge yourself to shower for less time (but stay clean!).
- Offer your time
With parental permission, volunteer to pick up trash at a nearby park, start a recyclables collection, or host an environmental-themed movie. By engaging and working with others, you're not only helping the Earth, you're making new friends!
- Spread the message
Talk to your friends and family members about what you're doing and ask for their help. Need to start a conversation? Let gather together and reconnect with nature by doing some things that are beneficial for the nature and then check out some other green tips you can share. The more people do, the better our planet will be!
ObservedEarth Day has been observed annually on April 22nd.
Friday, April 22nd, 2022
Saturday, April 22nd, 2023
Monday, April 22nd, 2024
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2025
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2026
Gaylord Nelson in September 1969