Today, it is Earth Day 2020. With most people from different nations being quarantined currently, we’ve seen quite some changes in the pollution index, quality of river water, and how some of the wild animals are out on the streets, feeling liberated. It makes this year’s Earth Day all the more special. It brings a new kind of awareness about how our planet is precious and how a little break from industrial activities can make a huge difference.
Despite being locked in our homes, most of us are being more proactive in understanding the importance of Earth’s health for nothing but our own existence. With that said, here’s everything about Earth Day, how it came to being, and why it is important.
How Did earth day start?
The first Earth Day was on the 22nd of April, 1970. It all started with Gaylord Nelson, the senator of Wisconsin whose increasing concern about deteriorating environment resulted in a campus teach-in related to air and water pollution. Nelson wanted more and more students to understand how urgent it was to address air and water pollution. Denis Hayes who was a young activist was recruited for the teach-in. This went on to become quite huge with 10% of Americans taking it to streets, parks, and other places demonstrating against the industrial development that had been sabotaging the environment.
What Was the Result?
Because Earth Day happened, it gave way to the foundation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This agency passed many laws concerned with the environment in the years that followed. Some of the significant laws that were passed are-
- National Environmental Education Act
- The Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Clean Air Act
- Clean Water Act
By 1990, other nations took inspiration from America’s efforts which made Earth Day a global event. Earth Day 1990 resulted in increased efforts to recycle. The United Nations was just as inspired, and the United Nations Earth Summit happened in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
What do you do on earth day?
As we made it from 1970 to 2010, we saw new challenges that have made it to this decade and still persist- politicians blinded by economy, passive public, and industrialists who stand benefitted from all of this. By 2010, environmental exploitation was at its peak and the global environmental community became more proactive.
While that’s about the history of Earth Day, the pressing question becomes- what is it that we, the millennials, can do on Earth Day? With the exploitation of all kinds of resources, a surge in population, and relentless industrialization in each part of the world, Earth Day has to be a lot more than a day dedicated to our planet. It demands action.
So, what do you do on Earth Day? A lot is going on around the world to make people more conscious about environmental issues and how these issues can be combatted. You can do the following-
- Take part in the initiative of cleaning up a river, lake, beach, or local park in your area.
- Plant or donate a tree.
- Educate a child about the detrimental effects of man’s actions on the environment and how to respect resources and use them judiciously.
- Join a bigger movement like the different campaigns run by the Earth Day Network, and other national and local movements.
- But before everything, ask yourself if you really understand what it means to use resources carefully and to live a sustainable life while ensuring your lifestyle doesn’t challenge the habitability of our planet.
What is the theme for earth day 2020?
The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. With decades of exploitation, the disastrous consequences in the form of climate change are more than evident. We are witnessing hotter summers and colder winters, and the sea level has been rising at an approximate rate of one-eighth of an inch each year from the melting of glaciers.
Climate change also directly impacts our biodiversity. Habitable places for different species are at risk, we see the flora and fauna choking to death, and even worse- being on the brink of extinction.
Earth Day 2020 theme, that is, climate action reminds nations and their leaders of the promise and commitment they made to the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015. Young people need to be educated about carbon footprint and how they need to transform their lifestyle to have the smallest carbon footprints on an individual level.
Both individuals and countries need more brainstorming than ever to come up with innovative, creative, and eco-friendly ways of living. The only way to practice sustainability is through zero-carbon living because we’ve come too far and have butchered our natural resources in the process.
As we talk about today, coronavirus gives us an important message that it’s not impossible to take a break from releasing untreated water into water bodies, driving, traveling, and polluting all the resources in the process. It also teaches us that we don’t have the upper hand on mother nature. If there’s a real crisis situation, we’ll be given no choice. Earth Day 2020 is about change. We’re at the crossroads and it’s not too late. If we commit to make a change, we’ll leave a better world for the future generation.