# Happy Earth Day

April 22, 2018

Earth is a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit. The Earth and its ecosystems are our home. In order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth. International Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance. This Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.

### What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an event celebrated every year on the 22nd of April. The event is held worldwide to celebrate support for protection of the environment, and has continuously drawn more and more people in each subsequent year. Earth Day brings attention to a large number of issues in requirement of attention, such as pollution of the ocean, debris left over on land, climate change, conservation of the Earth’s ecosystems, energy conservation, soil corruption, corrosion, overpopulation, nuclear issues, the depletion of the ozone layer, the depletion of the Earth’s natural resources, the introduction of wastes and toxicants into the wilderness and the seas, nanotechnology, and the deforestation of rain forests.

Earth Day and aims to inspire awareness and appreciation for Earth’s environment. The United Nations calls the event International Mother Earth Day.

### History of Earth Day

The first Earth Day was in 1970. Nelson, after seeing the damage done by a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, was inspired to organize a national “teach-in” that focused on educating the public about the environment.

Nelson recruited Denis Hayes, a politically active recent graduate of Stanford University, as national coordinator, and persuaded U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey of California to be co-chairman. With a staff of 85, they were able to rally 20 million people across the United States on April 20, 1970. Universities held protests, and people gathered in public areas to talk about the environment and find ways to defend the planet.

“Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values,” according to a history of Earth Day by the Earth Day Network, which was founded by the event’s organizers to promote environmental citizenship and action year-round.

Reflecting on the 10th anniversary of Earth Day, Nelson wrote in an article for EPA Journal, “It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources.”

In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being the founder of Earth Day. This is the highest honor given to civilians in the United States.

### Facts about Earth Day

• On Earth Day 2009, Disney released a documentary film called Earth that followed the migration paths of four animal families.
• On the very first Earth Day, 20 million people gathered in the streets of America to protest the industrial revolution. An environmental movement was born as a result.
• The Date Of Earth Day Was Specifically Selected To Mobilize College Students
• Earth day faced criticism from the very beginning
• Earth day sparked an unprecedented slate of environmental legislation
• Although it began as an American movement, earth day is now an international phenomenon
• Internationally, it’s known as international mother earth day
• In 2009, NASA planted a historic “moon tree” to celebrate earth day
• In Preparation for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary In 2020, a new Environmental theme will be announced every year for the next five years
• On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.
• In an Earth Day celebration in 2011, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan by the Earth Day Network.

### What People do on Earth Day?

The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to Earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, and using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction. Television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.

### References

[1] “International Mother Earth Day 22 April”, available online at: http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/

[2] What is Earth Day? Available online at: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/what-is-earth-day-and-earth-day-activities.php

[3] Alina Bradford, “Earth Day: Facts & History”, April 18, 2017, available online at: https://www.livescience.com/50556-earth-day-facts-history.html

[4] “11 Facts about Earth Day”, available online at: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-earth-day

[5] Matt Stofsky, “10 Fascinating Facts about Earth Day”, AprilL 22, 2017, available online at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/78560/10-fascinating-facts-about-earth-day

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