50 years of Earth Day

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Earth Day 2020 will be far more than a day. It must be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.

Hopefully, by the time you are reading this post, you will be encouraged to find ways of fighting climate change and saving the earth in any smallest way possible, we owe it to our planet.

Before I continue with my post, I’d like all of you to know how the national day “Earth Day” originated.

History
The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land and April 22, was selected as the official date.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day Today
As the millennium approached, the awareness was much widespread. Earth day 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists and spread awareness and update activists with the current issues being faced.

Earth Day had reached its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

Everyone has a role to play
Students, researchers, and organizations large and small will be working together on this citizen science initiative to help advance environmental research.

In 2017, we launched a global crowdsourcing call for people to tell us “The most important questions in human and environmental health.” Based on results from all 7 continents, six initial research areas were identified to focus on:
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Check out https://earthchallenge2020.earthday.org/  for more updates and Information.

April 22, 2020, is as a key moment for citizens, institutions and organizations everywhere to demonstrate shared demand for bold, transformative change.


How can you contribute as a citizen of Earth

Spread the awareness, whether at your school, college, work or home. Debate topics about climate change, make an impact and make your loved ones, friends and colleague aware of how critical the climate change is and how it can impact us.

Vote or support for eco-warriors, eco-bloggers, eco-fashionistas or candidates who will advocate for climate-related legislation and policy improvements. The right climate enactment has the power to move mountains.

Reduce greenhouse gas from your daily lives, whether from your home, office or your means of transportation. Try and eat less meat, atleast limit it once a week if you’re a hardcore meat lover, go for solar power, change your lightbulbs to energy efficient ones, all these little changes are an act of green.

Cleanup  Take responsibility by planting some trees, clean up a stream or help your local community garden

Register with a local environmental community, find out updates on what eco activities the community will be hosting, and try and volunteer, or else donate for a cause local or internationally.


How can I participate on Earth Day 2020?

  • Strike online: Instead of coming out and striking in person, you can take a picture and post it online with Earth Day 2020 and Earthrise hashtags. The real point is to show that you can still take action;
  • Capture air quality, plastic pollution, insect populations and other environmental issues in your area using Earth Challenge 2020. Get the app on your phone and take action: IOS or Android
  • Organize teach in webinar engaging students to discuss climate change, its impact in your country and possible action plans. You can use free online apps such WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Viber…etc ;
  • Host online seminars, discussion groups and environmental awareness campaign to educate people on the causes and consequences of climate crisis;
  • Record a (1 minute) video about Earth Day and share with to demonstrate your support to the environmental movement;
  • Sign up to some free online environmental courses to learn more about climate change and best practices to fight it;
  • Browse environmental podcasts, articles, movies and share lessons learned with friends, family and via social media platforms;
  • Connect with other environmental activists online and via social media actually means we could build more of a global community;
  • Share climate change facts and related environmental findings with local officials to review current climate policies and reform opportunities;
  • Connect with your local news outlets and radios to promote environmental actions around Earth.

Day April 22nd;

  • Plant a home garden;
  • Test your knowledge with Earth Day quizzes and share how much you know on social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter;
  • Switch your food to plant-based diet;
  • Read, explore and learn about the major environmental issues in your area;
  • Create online exhibits and or art installations for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day reflect on local environmental issues and the impact of climate change;
  • Draw a painting about Earth Day, nature and the environment;
  • Write a song about Earth Day or our planet;

 

Together, we can fight for a cleaner, safer, more just and sustainable world that protects and supports all of us.

 

 

 


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