We may be familiar with the importance of recycling and taking care of our environment every day, but let’s not forget about the annual celebration: Earth Day. The April 22nd holiday started back in the 1970s when a group of environmentalists sprouted. Then, in the 1990s, the celebration grew worldwide with 200 million people in 141 countries. It has been a day dedicated to raising environmental awareness and planting trees around the world. Now, more than one billion people participate each year, making Earth Day the largest observance day in the world!
Earthday.org‘s purpose is to create a sustainable planet that will be cleaner and healthier for all living creatures. The organization’s goal is to encourage people to plant trees in order to reach the goal of 7.8 billion planted trees by its 50th anniversary, which is in five years! Trees are essential to the environment because they absorb odors and pollutants caused by cars and factories. They trap the pollutants in their leaves and bark while creating clean oxygen for us to breathe, and they offer cool shade on hot days. Trees also provide energy and food by helping communities get long-term environmental and even economic sustainability, according to the website.
Remember, there’s more to the earth than just trees, so Earth Day also means conserving wildlife, cleaning local parks and lakes, and recycling. When Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar this year, he used his acceptance speech to raise environmental awareness. Since 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has been striving to reduce climate change and save endangered wildlife. One of the projects it supports is 100% — the campaign that aims to reduce pollution by encouraging people to use clean and affordable energy created by wind, water, and sun.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency also encourages us to take action every day to have clean air and water and to help prevent species from going extinct. Visit the EPA’s website to find some community service projects to participate in throughout the year.
This Earth Day, plant a tree and use the hashtag #trees4earth, or spread the word and donate to save wildlife. Find a local event by using the earthday.org interactive map on the website, and join others in your community to make the world a greener and healthier place!
How will you celebrate Earth Day? Tell us in the comments!