Every year, our home is celebrated on April 22, Earth Day.
While this is a great day to post your favorite pics in nature or clean up a local area, do you know the meaning behind it?
Many people celebrate Earth Day by going on hikes, visiting the beach, and cleaning up beaches or other areas. But before the festivities begin, it’s important to note why this day holds such special meaning to us.
What is Earth Day about?
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Millions of people celebrated clean air, land, and water. Before this time, there were no questions asked or restrictions made to companies who were puffing black smoke into the air and dumping into our oceans. There was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Clean Water Act, and no Clean Air Act, but President Nixon and the U.S. Congress put a stop to that in July of 1970 and these acts were created.
After this first Earth Day, Earth Day Network was born. This organization’s goal is “to solve climate change, to end plastic pollution, to protect endangered species, and to broaden, educate, and activate the environmental movement across the globe.”
With the help of Earth Day Network, over 1 billion people now participate in activities across the globe, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Wow!
Earth Day Network encourages us all to take action and go green by making small changes to our daily lives. By the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, Earth Day Network hopes to reach 3 billion acts of green and the site currently has over 2,688,000,000 acts of green. Some examples include planting trees, ending plastic pollution, eating less meat, and taking the pesticide pledge.
In addition to the United States location, Earth Day Network has a second location in Kolkata, India. This partner is leading “significant progress in renewable energy, sustainable urban development, in mobilizing the youth, building environmental stewardship, increasing green cover, and in fostering clean energy education amongst women in rural areas.”
The theme of Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Species,” which is focused on raising awareness about the rate of extinction of many species and achieving policy victories to protect broad groups of species and their habitats.
Today, celebrations are held in over 193 countries across the globe. Here are a few:
In Tokyo, an Earth Day festival is celebrated in Yoyogi Park. Locals and visitors alike can learn about all kinds of environmental groups and charities that are spreading the word and selling eco-friendly products. Enjoy art, music, and tons of vegetarian food options.
This year, London is challenging you to take part in the 2019 Earth Day 24,901 Mile Run/Walk Challenge during the month of April. The contest needs 415 people to sign up to run at least 2 miles for each day of the month – to symbolize running one loop around the Equator.
This year, New Yorkers and visitors can enjoy a car-free event that opens up thirty blocks in New York City for pedestrians to stroll as they please. During NYC Car Free Earth Day, a series of activations and performances will occupy six different rest stops including Times Square and Union Square.
This is a chance to imagine New York City with fewer cars on the road, and more bikes and walking – putting less carbon into the atmosphere! Local organizations and vendors will be on display throughout the day.
Hold onto your seats, Earth Day just got a little bit weirder and free-er. San Franciscans (and Vancouver) unite on Earth Day for the World Naked Bike Ride.
The organizers of this annual nude bike ride have said, “Our ride is in continued protest of unsustainable energy policy in all nations around the globe. We support the innovation of alternate and improved energy technologies, the social commitment to more sustainable energy consumption and generally the pure fun and joy of riding naked to draw attention to these issues.”
Are you ready to bare all for Mother Earth? Make your way to San Francisco!
The EXPO EarthX 2019 has so much to teach us about taking care of our planet.
The expo features conferences, guest speakers, an auto show, sustainable food options, scuba divers, interactive exhibits, bicycling, yoga, and tons of opportunities to learn how you can take part in keeping our Earth clean. There are recycling workshops and solar rollers – student’s opportunity to develop and race solar-powered vehicles.
The Earth Village or Villaggio Per La Terra is a huge event celebrated in Rome, Italy, featuring speeches, concerts, and tons to do for both kids, teens, and adults. Kids can enjoy experiments, the planetarium, and workshops in the Kids Village.
There are tons of sporting events to watch including the Italian Archery Championship and the Italian Open Mixed Tournament of soccer. Sustainable development goals for Italy will be discussed as well as #4women4earth, a topic against gender-based violence. The Villaggio Per La Terra is the largest environmental event in Italy!
The Sunshine Coast Annual Earth Day Festival encourages visitors to dance on the mandala to Sunshine Coast music! The Sunshine Coast recognizes the importance of sustainable tourism, tourism being the area’s foremost industry, “Together, this community knows that there is power in positive action and that cleanup can be the first step toward real, lasting change.”
Sunshine Coast Tourism is inviting all to take a few minutes out of your Earth Day and help clean up a local beach or trail. Get social and use #sunshinecoastcleanup in your photos.
Zero Foodprint is an initiative whose mission is to, “help hundreds of restaurants around the world understand the impacts of the food we serve on our climate. Together, we improve these effects by funding projects that encourage regenerative agriculture, which produces more delicious ingredients and sequesters carbon in the soil.”
This Earth Day, Zero Foodprint wants restaurants to pledge $1 for each dinner served on Earth Day. This cost will go towards offsetting the cost of the carbon emissions put into the atmosphere that day and support Zero Foodprint as it educates others on how to reduce their impact.
A few cities across the globe are home to restaurants that have pledged to be carbon neutral every day including Amass in Copenhagen, Pistolas Y Corazon in Lisbon, and Flour + Water in San Francisco.
Let’s continue to clean, nourish, celebrate, and love this beautiful planet together. Did you know Earth Day’s history? Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment below!