Interesting Facts About Earth Day
By Waithera Mbuthia
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year as a commemoration of the modern environmental movement that was established in 1970. It is a day that shifts our collective focus on our fragile planet and steers our actions towards protection and conservation. The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Restore our Earth”.
Earth Day was first commemorated in the United States of America at a time when the effects of environmental pollution from factories and fuels were increasing rapidly. Senator Gaylord Nelson, an American environmentalist and politician introduced the concept of a 'national teach-in on the environment' in 1970. He rallied support from both political and academic arenas and succeeded in creating a national movement that saw the first Earth Day celebrations take place across America on April 22, 1970.
Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world. The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Restore our Earth”, and the focus is on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystem.
The Earth Day celebrations take place for a week, and below are some of the activities that one can engage in.
How can you celebrate Earth Day?
We can make Earth Day an everyday affair by promoting practices that protect planet earth. Here are a few ways to commemorate this special day, every day:
- Plant a tree - Trees contribute to the environment by improving the quality of air, preserving soil, and conserving water. Trees also provide shade and shelter. Teach children the importance of planting trees and plant some with them.
- Pick up trash – Lead by example by promoting a litter-free environment. Encourage others to dispose of all trash responsibly and organize clean-up events in your community.
- Recycle - Earth Day is an important day to learn about recycling. Everyday items made from glass, plastics, and metals can be recycled, reused, or repurposed.
- Conserve Water – Be mindful of running water and fix leaking taps as soon as possible. Consider recycling water where practical.
- Reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides in gardens- These chemicals hurt the environment, especially if not absorbed by the soil. Go for organic manure instead.
- Spread the gospel - Join the civic movement and educate others on the need to safeguard our fragile planet.
- Go for eco-friendly picnics – think ‘green’, from meal prep and packing to post-picnic cleanup. Choose reusable glass bottles for your drinks and multi-use lunch boxes for your food items. Reduce the use of plastic wrappings, to minimize littering. After your picnic, ensure that you pick all trash and dispose of it responsibly.
Join the global community on www.earthday.org and be part of the movement keeping Planet Earth safe.