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Everything you need to know about Earth Day

What is Earth Day, what does it mean and why do we have it? Let’s take a look…

World Earth Day is held on April 22, the same date every year.

The brainchild of US Senator Gaylord Nelson, it was founded in the aftermath of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and led to the creation of landmark environmental laws and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Soon after the first Earth Day, the US passed the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

First launched as a way to teach environmentalism and protest against the negative aspects of industrialisation, and set against the backdrop of rising public concern about the environment, Earth Day soon grew to become a global environmental movement.

More than a billion people worldwide now take part in marches, petitions and clean-ups to protect the environment – making it the largest civic observance in the world.

People all around the world are encouraged to do things to benefit the environment, from recycling and planting trees to reducing our carbon footprints.

However, this year will be slightly different with people encouraged to protest virtually, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

the 50th anniversary of the day will be the first ever Digital Earth Day, in which participants are encouraged to share the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE “in a collective call for transformative action for our planet”.

Earth Day Network will provide live coverage of the “global digital mobilisations” online, and other digital events include virtual protests, social media campaigns, online teach-ins and more. Find out more at earthday.org.

 

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