Almost 50 years have gone since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. And this year, more than 190 countries – including Nigeria – will mark the annual Earth Day for raising awareness of environmental causes – for Earth Day’s importance will only continue to grow as the years pass.
Concise News brings you all the information on what Earth Day is and why it was launched.
Meaning of Earth Day
US Senator, Gaylord Nelson is the brain behind Earth Day after witnessing the ecological catastrophe caused by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, which killed more than 3500 birds off the Californian coast.
The first-ever Earth Day was marked by 22 million Americans who marched to protest against the destruction of the environment.
This led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of a raft of environmental legislation.
In the years since Earth Day has spread worldwide and is now celebrated in more than 190 countries.
Theme for Earth Day 2019
The theme for Earth Day 2019 is Protect Our Species, which attempts to draw attention to the rapid extinction of species around the world.
This is directly linked to human activity causing climate change, deforestation and pollution.
The Earth Day Network, responsible for running Earth Day, says 40 per cent of the world’s 11,000 bird species are in decline and 75 per cent of the world’s coral reefs are under stress.
Earth Day is encouraging people to take individual actions to slow the extinction rate.
Easily achievable ideas include going vegetarian or cutting the use of pesticides and herbicides.
What you can do on Earth Day?
The Earth Day Network has issued a list of suggestions people can take to tackle climate change and protect the environment to save species across the world.
They include switching sunscreen to protect coral, organising or joining a beach clean-up and tracking and reducing their plastic waste.
People are also encouraged to plant trees, switch to reusable bags or create a bee-friendly garden.
Further tips include using public transport to cut emissions, buying energy-efficient appliances and electronics and supporting sustainable fisheries.
How to celebrate Earth Day
Social media users on Instagram, Twitter, and others can post a close-up photo of their favourite natural features on planet earth.
This could include ancient trees, blooming flowers, or stunning sunsets.