Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 when tens of millions of people took part in rallies across America, following an enormous oil spill that happened the previous year in Santa Barbara, California. As a result, many environmentally focused changes and awareness followed, such as the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and Water Quality Improvement Act. Since the 1990’s, the holiday has become global, and today 141 countries celebrate it every year.
This year’s Earth Day theme is “Trees for Earth”, which involves an effort by Earth Day Network to plant 7.8 billion trees in the next 4 years, representing the number of people on this earth. Today is also historically significant as a result of the signing of the Paris Agreement, which is the result of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015. The U.S. is one of 120 countries that have pledged to sign the agreement, which would bring tremendous leadership to the effort to reduce CO2 emissions around the world and keep global temperatures from rising above 2°C. Promising to be instated in 2020, the signing of this agreement comes after one of the warmest recorded months in history.
People celebrate earth day in many ways, such as volunteering at a community garden, bird watching, picking up trash, planting a tree in the neighborhood, or calling for action to preserve and protect the environment. How do you intend on celebrating Earth Day?