By Maya Potter.
‘The Earth is what we all have in common’ - Wendell Berry
Earth Day was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 to increase awareness of the importance of clean air and water, following an oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969. The event inspired 20 million Americans to take to the streets. Over 50 years later, Earth Day is recognised as the largest annual international awareness day, marked by more than a billion people.
Earth Day is held on the 22nd April every year, however this year the event will involve three days of climate action (20th-22nd April). This year’s theme is ‘Restore Our Earth’ which will focus on innovative green technologies, new ways of thinking that will help repair ecosystems and how each of us can play a part in rebuilding the natural world. ‘Restore Our Earth’ includes five key pillars: The Canopy Project; The Global Earth Challenge; Climate Literacy; Food and Environment and The Great Global Cleanup.
The Canopy Project focuses on reforestation, which is one of the most effective ways of taking CO2 from the atmosphere and providing essential habitats. Since the start of the 20th century, a staggering 20% of the world’s forests have been lost. However, through this project, every dollar donated equals one new tree, resulting in tens of millions of trees planted since 2010.
The Global Earth Challenge is an initiative encouraging volunteers to contribute to scientific research through monitoring environmental threats and sharing their findings. Research questions include topics from air quality to insect populations. The Climate Literacy pillar is also about increasing knowledge by ensuring students around the world are educated about and are engaging with environmental issues.
The Food and Environment pillar addresses the environmental impacts of the food industry and how factors such as what we eat, where our food comes from and what we waste affects the environment. You can calculate your ‘Foodprint’ here.
You can also get involved with The Great Global Cleanup through an interactive map which details all the Cleanup events taking place around the world and in your local area. With many people reaching for their running shoes during the national lockdowns of the past year, ‘plogging’ (picking up litter whilst jogging) could be a good way to combine a new hobby and doing your bit for the environment.
You can find more information about the upcoming virtual live events, workshops and discussions of Earth Day 2021 here. There are so many ways to get involved and learn how to incorporate green habits into our everyday lives.
Let's help restore our home!