What is Earth Day & Brief History of How it Came About

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More than 1 billion people are anticipated to celebrate Earth Day today by participating in events.

In 1970, a destructive oil spill in the U.S. brought the environmental concerns forward to the public eye. The first Earth Day came about as a result. Environmental Protection Agency revealed that 22 million people in the country showed up to insist on environmental change.

“That day left a permanent impact on the politics of America,” Gaylord Nelson wrote in the April 1980 edition of the EPA Journal. “It forcibly thrust the issue of environmental quality and resources conservation into the political dialogue of the nation.

“It showed political and opinion leadership of the country that the people cared, that they were ready for political action, that the politicians had better get ready, too. In short, Earth Day launched the environmental decade with a bang.”

More and more people are coming out in support of Earth Day, celebrating and participating in environmentally friendly events. The number is expected to reach 1 billion people this year to celebrate the day throughout the world which is April 22 every year.

This year’s Earth Day theme, “Protect Our Species,” focuses on helping endangered species.

“The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are far-reaching,” the Earth Day Network, which partners with tens of thousands of organizations in 192 countries to organize Earth Day events, said on its website.

“If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.”

The organization‘s goals include educating the public “about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species,” protecting species with “major policy victories,” creating a “global movement,” and urging people to take “individual actions such as adopting [a] plant-based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.”

More than 3,000 community cleanups are scheduled in dozens of cities, including Miami, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the Earth Day Network reported.

“Plastic pollution and waste challenge every community, every day, and these cleanups offer a chance to make a real difference,” the organization’s website said.

How are businesses helping?

Google marked Earth Day 2019 with an interactive doodle featuring facts about six “awe-inspiring organisms” on our planet, including the wandering albatross, coastal redwood, Paedophryne amauensis (a tiny frog), Amazon water lily, coelacanth (a rare fish) and deep cave springtail.

Apple also joined in on the celebrations, announcing on April 18 that it is “quadrupling the number of locations U.S. customers can send their iPhone to be disassembled by Daisy, its recycling robot.”

“Advanced recycling must become an important part of the electronics supply chain, and Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said in a statement. “We work hard to design products that our customers can rely on for a long time. When it comes time to recycle them, we hope that the convenience and benefit of our programs will encourage everyone to bring in their old devices.”

 

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