By Farryn Stock|
April 7, 2022|
3 mins read
On April 22nd, 2022, it will be Earth Day. A day created to draw focus on the importance of taking care of our planet and to encourage the world to take action on the profound damage that climate change is imposing.
What actually is Earth Day?
Earth Day is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in the environmental awareness calendar. Celebrated internationally by over 1 billion people in 193 countries every year, it is a momentous occasion for those who wish to raise awareness of the effects of climate change and what can be done to resolve it. With climate change being a progressively growing issue in modern society, Earth Day has gradually become more and more prevalent within society.
Today, Earth Day is about drawing together as many people as possible from all industries and walks of life, to encourage them to take focus on the environmental issues that we face and do something to change it.
How did it begin?
The origins of Earth Day date back to the later 60s, when large industrial and economic progress was being made in western society. As a result of this, masses of pollution from large corporations were being emitted into the atmosphere without much recognition of the damage that it was doing to the planet. Seen as a necessary consequence of economic success, the need to reduce pollution was not seen as a combined obligation for many years.
Following the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, US Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first-ever Earth Day in the 1970s as a protest for cleaner air and water. Inspiring 20 million Americans (nearly 10% of America’s then population), to take to the streets and protest, the day drew global press and attention. As decades passed, the infamous day brought together people fighting for all different causes regarding the safety of our planet and the people within it, from animal rights activists to those concerned about factory pollution levels. From then on it has continued to grow in recognition and popularity among people all over the world who want to live in a cleaner, greener environment.
Earth Day success
As well as drawing mass media attention, there have also been numerous legislations and laws that have passed since the initial Earth Day took place. Proving that positive influence and protest are key instruments to making important changes, these are just some of the laws that have been passed:
What can we do to get involved with it now?
Each year Earth Day generally follows a theme, and for 2022 the theme is Invest In Our Planet. Kathleen Rogers, the president of Earth Day explains to Vogue the message behind the name as ‘a call for governments and businesses to invest in a better ecological future as “Governments can pass regulations, they can promote [a] green economy. We need to invest in innovators and innovation, but we need to do it the right way.”
For the individual person, it is about investing your time and energy into educating yourself on the matters of global warming and what we can each do to prevent it. Looking for support networks and local environmentalist groups to get involved with, or even planning your own Earth Day event to spread awareness are all great ways to get involved.
However, this is not a day to pressure the everyday person into having to do “more”, it’s for holding accountable people with the highest power who are in positions of power to make great changes. For the rest of us, this should be a day of celebration, education, and hope for the future. It’s never too late to take your first steps into sustainable living.