Earth Day: Everything You Need to Know

Olga Nitschke 1 March 2023

April 22nd marks this year's Earth Day, the largest civic observance in the world, which takes place every year and hosts activities that engage more than 1 billion people around the globe.

Blossoming since the first in 1970, Earth Day is the culmination of a year-round effort by the Earth Day Network to broaden, diversify and mobilise the environmental movement.

At the crux of Earth Day is education; the aim is to inspire and empower the public to take action in defence of environmental protection. By explaining why it is crucial "to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet", the goal is to become an engine for creating green voters, accelerating environmental and climate laws and policies, and advancing green technologies and jobs.

What is Earth Day?

Simply put, Earth Day is an international initiative raising awareness of the importance of sustainability and celebrating the achievements within the field so far.

Many of the projects are active all year, and Earth Day is a culmination and an opportunity to spread awareness. As many of the key organisations and specialists often highlight, to achieve actual change and improvements, the efforts need to be continuous, especially on the government and businesses level.

Earth Day is a key day for education – both on the issues we face and how to resolve them. Despite the knowledge being reasonably widespread, there’s still a long way to go to ensure everyone across the globe knows and recognises the challenges and ways they can contribute to mitigating them.

For many, the day is an opportunity to do something for the planet or even start the journey of being more sustainable. Though continuous efforts are the path to long-term improvements, getting involved and supporting the cause, even for one day, makes a difference.

We’re moving in the right direction, but with the damaging effects of global warming affecting our environment more every day, the fight for a clean, healthy planet is far from over.

When is it?

How did Earth Day start? In 1970 in the USA, it was decided to do it on 22nd April, initially to engage as many students as possible. Once the event went global in 1990, the date was kept.

So now, each year, on the 22nd of April, billions celebrate worldwide, culminating the year-round efforts, spreading awareness and encouraging positive action.

Why do We Have Earth Day?

The positive impact that followed Earth Day was undeniable. Thanks to some of the most crucial legislations for the environment, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, were passed. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, a US institution which protects people and the environment from significant health risks, sponsors and conducts research, and develops and enforces environmental regulations.

Nowadays, Earth Day is more about education on sustainability and conservation, protesting against climate change and global warming and encouraging a wide variety of volunteering for the good of the environment.

Why do we need education on sustainability? 

Even though most people are aware of the concerns, many still don’t realise the severity of the issue. Sustainability is a vast, ever-changing subject, not always well shown or explained in the mass media. To do better, we need to understand the problem and its seriousness. The other advantage of education on sustainability is learning all the new, often amazing, things we do to improve our chances of winning against global warming. The scientists and specialists work tirelessly to give us more knowledge, skills and tools, many of them easy to implement, to succeed in the efforts of being more sustainable.

Thanks to the growing number of eco-friendly businesses, we have a realistic chance to minimise climate change and its damaging influence on the environment, economies, and our everyday life. However, researchers worry it may be too late unless more companies adopt sustainable business practices.

How to Celebrate Earth Day and Live More Sustainably

Educate yourself and others

In general, climate and environmental literacy, coupled with strong civic education, will create jobs, build a green consumer market and allow citizens to engage with their governments in a meaningful way to address the climate crisis. But the first step we each have to take is to educate ourselves and keep up to date with our knowledge.

Luckily there are many amazing specialist speakers happy to share their knowledge to help everyone make a difference.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint, some easier than others. Most of them can be summarised with the sustainability mantra: reduce, reuse, recycle

Reduce the use of materials harmful to the environment, e.g. single-use plastics.

Reuse as many items as possible before buying something new, e.g. use old print-outs for scrap paper.

Recycle whenever possible, making sure you follow the local regulations.

Support Sustainable Companies

Whether in professional or personal life, try to choose companies aware of the sustainability issues and make an effort to make real improvements and changes. Supporting eco-friendly companies is the most transparent way for consumers to sign the need for change and persuade more businesses to be sustainable.

Booking a Sustainability & Environment Speaker for Your Earth Day Event

Sustainable business practices are a key step to stopping the damage to our planet. The journey can be challenging, but any company can do their part with the right guidance and expertise.

Earth Day is a great opportunity to listen to sustainability and environmental speakers to educate, reflect and remember the significance of the planet’s health.

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