Earth Day isn’t just about one day, one activist or one organisation. As citizens of the world, it is every person’s responsibility to nurture and preserve the bountiful gifts of nature, its resources, the environment and the atmosphere. It involves celebrating the home planet and taking steps towards caring and tending to its needs and well being.
A pledge, no matter how small it is, taken in this direction will go a long way in the betterment of Mother Earth, making it a better place to live in for generations to come. Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April to raise awareness and create a global impact on environmental conservation. It often extends into week-long activities, and Earth Week is observed for seven days.
In today’s time, with more and more young climate activists raising their voices, climate change trends being studied in greater detail and world leaders taking conscious steps to cut down on emissions, Earth Day helps to reflect on all the things done and the road that lies ahead.
How did Earth Day start?
The idea of Earth Day began developing in 1969 USA when Senator Gaylord Nelson saw the horrors of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He called all fellow Americans to a nationwide demonstration to join the causes of a better environment, clean resources and nature preservation in 1970. The day was 22 April. A massive number of American students and university goers participated, and it saw the formation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
To extend the impact and raise awareness of Earth Day, the Clean Air Act was passed by the end of the year and the Endangered Species Act followed in 1973. In 1990, Earth Day was globally recognised, with over 140 countries participating in the event. Since then, companies, governments, NGOs and individual participants come together to do their bit for their planet every year.
What is the Earth Day 2022 theme?
This year marks the 52nd Earth Day, and the theme assigned by the Earth Day Organisation is ‘Invest In Our Planet.’ It aims at improving the climate, as well as the planet’s health in every way possible. Achieving a sustainable future through growing green, ethical and profitable businesses and corporations is its main motto.
To inspire global citizens for a more hopeful tomorrow, the Earth Day official website says, “Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet. Because a green future is a prosperous future.”
Every initiative matters. Building on this premise, the organisation urges people to act boldly, innovate broadly and implement equitably. This cannot be done by just a handful of people or a few passionate climate change activists. It will require the efforts and support of all.
What does the Earth Day 2022 theme signify?
‘Invest In Our Planet’ aims at promoting a more sustainable future. Private companies, along with popular support, can become active volunteers of Earth Day and work towards a healthy and sustainable life. Smart innovations and adopting a green economy are key to remaining profitable, scoring strong financials, improving stock performances and keeping employees happy.
Investing in cleaner forms of energy, adopting sustainable fashion, cutting down on carbon footprint and taking conscious steps as corporates and citizens to minimise waste, air pollution and use of plastic are some elements the Earth Day theme taps into.
Additionally, by providing incentives to green businesses and encouraging companies to develop good Environment Social Governance (ESG) standards, governments will be able to make the eco-friendly option a more lucrative one as well.
Planting trees, switching off electronics during the Earth Hour, imparting climate education and opting for a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle are the need of the hour and can be done at individual levels, too. The youth has the power to bring about environmental change by opting for sustainable and ethical brands that are investing in healing the planet.
Earth Day celebrations and events
Whether you are a young activist or a corporate leader, Earth Day events and activities are for anyone who wishes to join forces to heal the planet.
One can celebrate Earth Day through the various programmes organised by the Earth Day Organisation. Donate to the Canopy Project online to help plant trees and support reforestation or join The Great Global Cleanup® to help clean up trash in your area or water bodies with the help of local communities. You can also locate a campaign near you and register for it, as well as sign up for the Earth Day 2022 toolkit that involves working towards the goal of making the planet a more habitable and sustainable place.
Additionally, you can visit the Earth Day Organisation’s website for more information and activities. Whether you become a member, register as a volunteer, make donations or take part in campaigns and events, you can do your bit in your own special way to promote Earth Day.
Hero and feature image: Courtesy Hello I’m Nik/ @helloimnik/ Unsplash