Earth Day began on April 22nd, 1970 in the United States. Since then it has occurred annually for 50 years. It is now observed by a billion people in 192 countries. Each Earth Day adopts a theme; this year it is Restore Our Earth. But what do we do with that theme? Five pillars of action were pinpointed by earthday.org.
Five Pillars of Earth Day
• The Canopy Project – reforests places in urgent need of rehabilitation. This is often in communities at risk from climate change and dreadful environmental conditions.
• Foodprints for the Future – studies what impact growing, producing, transporting and storing food has on various factors: natural resources used, to resulting pollution, to the emissions of greenhouse gases.
• The Great Global Cleanup – inspires people to shrink and remove waste in their environment. Incredibly, “270,000 people die prematurely every year from uncontrolled burning of household waste, and two billion people live without any waste collection services.”
• The Climate and Environmental Literacy Initiative – complements civic education, works to create jobs, while building a green consumer market. It also assists the public in participating significantly with their governments about environmental issues.
• Global Earth Challenge – uses volunteers to aid in scientific research by monitoring threats to the environment and to human health within their communities. Through an open platform, researchers can access high-quality data for assessment of international policies, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Earth Day 2021 in the United States
President Joe Biden will host a global summit in observance of 2021’s Earth Day. Earthday.org will present a range of activities and events to spotlight “climate and environmental literacy, climate restoration technologies, reforestation efforts, regenerative agriculture, citizen science and clean ups taking place around the globe.”
What can you do?
Earthday.org invites everyone to participate in Earth Day 2021 in some way. “It is up to each and every one of us to Restore Our Earth – not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option – it is a necessity.”
For suggestions on how you can help, visit this earthday.org page for ideas. Though we focus on this particular “day”, participation in these activities can be any, or every, day of the year. Whether the size of your participation is small or large, you do make a difference.