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The Importance of Earth Day

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Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22. The day involves cherishing the accomplishments of the environmental movement and raising awareness for environmental protection. Earth Day is special because it plays a major part in taking care of the planet we call home. It’s also one of my favorite times of year.

History

Earth Day stems from environmental activism in the 1960s, which drove Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to create a national holiday to bring the environmental movement together. It was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard University, organized a worldwide Earth Day, with at least 200 million people in more than 140 countries participating by 1990.

Nowadays, Earth Day brings citizens and activists together worldwide to raise awareness for environmental support and issues relating to the Earth, like climate change. It is important because our Earth is the place we all depend on for a variety of things, from food to shelter to our very lives.

How We Celebrate

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day. Some activities include recycling, gardening, planning outdoor projects, and creating compost heaps. People can also turn off their lights to conserve energy. My family, friends and I use recycling bins, turn off our lights when we leave our houses, and compost food.

Looking after the environment and learning about how important it is are wonderful experiences for me. You can help the environment in your own neighborhood by using less water, planting trees, volunteering, using less plastic, and following the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Spending time outside getting to know our beautiful planet can also help, and there have even been laws passed to cut down on plastic bags.

Part of the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2022, offers funding, incentives, and programs to speed the transition to a clean energy economy.

There are plenty of famous books involving the environment, from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by environmental advocate Greta Thunberg. She is an eco-heroine for the modern era, raising climate change awareness.

In addition, there are organizations where you can volunteer or make donations, like The Nature Conservancy, Cool Earth, which is dedicated to protecting the rainforest, and Ocean Conservancy, which involves helping the ocean.

Earth Day Today

I just came home from a trip to the Galápagos Islands with my sister, a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day and a trip I’ve been dreaming about for decades.

Natural landmarks like the aforementioned islands, the Serengeti Plains in Africa, and the American woods come to mind when I think of this special holiday, along with environmental issues we are still dealing with.

Earth Day also makes me think of environmental themed songs like the ones sung by Tom Chapin, from “Someone’s Gonna Use it” and “The Wheel of the Water,” to “Sing a Whale Song” and “Forest in the Rain,” as well as stories about environmental heroes. It also inspires me to help the Earth, as well as add environmental themes to my stories.

Earth Day isn’t just about helping the environment. It’s about building a better place for all of us. What do you like to do for Earth Day?