A Day to Reflect on our Responsibility to Environment
Posted on: April 23, 2019.

A little history to start with. “Earth Day” first happened on April 20, 1970, after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969, instigated United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to establish the day. Nelson, along with a Stanford graduate, a federal representative, and a staff of 85, successfully staged a rally that involved 20 million volunteers across the United States. Universities held protests, and people gathered in public areas to talk about the environment and find ways to defend the planet. The movement led to the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and earned the recognition of the United Nations which announced April 22 as International Mother Earth Day, simply known as “Earth Day”. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest honor given to a citizen of the United States—by President Bill Clinton in 1995, for being the founder of Earth Day. Gaylord Nelson breathed his last in 2005.

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Major issues concerned with the loss of environmental integrity and longevity are oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife, among others.

The world can be made a better place to live in, by two simple ways: being personally aware of the critical actions we need to take to protect our environment, and committing to play a significant part in protecting and preserving the environment. Protection of the environment should be given priority over energy production.

Anyone can make a difference to protecting the environment by simply incorporating little changes into their daily routines. A few influential patrons of Earth Day share their views:

    “A simple way that everyone can celebrate Earth Day to make the world a better place is to turn off the lights in their own homes and in their offices [when not in use]… not just sometimes, but all of the time.”

    “Take a walk in nature and simply appreciate it, plant a tree or a flower, pick up a discarded bottle and recycle it (even if it isn’t yours), turn off your printer for a day, power off your computer and take a tech break, go vegetarian for a day, use a certified natural skin-care product. These are just a few simple ways to make a positive impact for yourself and for our Earth.”

    “Make a pledge to keep water clean and accessible for years to come.”

The first International Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1990, by 200 million people in 141 countries, according to official reports, and Earth Day continues to grow over the years.

Earth Day 2000 witnessed 5,000 environmental groups and 184 countries participate in a campaign that focused on global warming and clean energy. National Geographic was informed that in late 1997, the world’s leaders in Kyoto, Japan, acknowledged the scientific fact that carbon emissions from fossil-fuel consumption is the leading cause of global warming, and that something must be done to address those rising emissions.

Earth Day 2010 marked its 40th anniversary, when 2.25 lakh people gathered together and rallied for climate. A campaign to plant 100 crore trees was launched on Earth Day Network, which was achieved in 2012, according to an official statement.

On Earth Day 2016, the Paris Climate Agreementto keep global warming below two degrees Celsius—was signed by world leaders, including then-U.S. President Barack Obama, in the presence of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

On Earth Day 2017, more than 100 crore people across the globe participated in Earth Day activities, according to official reports.

There are so many different ways to make an impact—you just have to choose one!



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