Earth Day: The Most Important Day of 2022
World Earth Day is a longstanding tradition that has continued to be celebrated for over 50 years. However, the message has remained constant, to remind each of us that the Earth provides us with life and sustenance and must be protected.
In this blog, we look back at the history and heritage of Earth Day and investigate the inspirations behind the event and how it can positively influence our actions today.
The History of Earth Day
Earth Day was founded in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson was a stern conservationist with a strong passion for environmentalism.
In January 1969, Nelson witnessed first-hand the oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. It was, at that time, the largest oil spill in US waters. Up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil poured out into the channel, killing approximately 3,500 sea birds. Nelson was heavily troubled by the event. He not only demanded answers, he wanted change.
Nelson could not possibly anticipate how his desire for change was echoed across the globe. Twenty million people followed Nelson’s lead and advocated for a dramatic overhaul in environmental awareness. Earth Day was the result of his efforts with the inaugural event taking place on April 22 1970.
Millions of Americans participated in rallies and marches across the country. Nelson and his team arranged teach-ins at colleges, organising education in the form of tree planting and recycling.
The message may be the same as fifty-two years ago, but our actions have evolved. Millions across the globe demand a new way forward, utilising social media as a tool, as awareness of environmental issues are brought to the very forefront of current affairs and popular culture.
Conferences such as COP26, influencers like Greta Thunberg and unrelenting documentaries all ignite more passion and alertness to the clouds of climate change.
Statistics show one billion individuals participate in Earth Day each year with over 190 countries actively engaged in the environmental cause. There has never been a more unified time to invest in our planet.
How to Participate
The principles of sustainable practice are important for all members of society. Here are 5 tips from Astutis to help the environment this Earth Day.
Turn off lights when not in use- In the UK it is estimated that 6.5 million people often leave the lights on when they leave the room. It is estimated that this results in 15 million pounds of electricity being wasted each day across the UK. Turning your lights off could not only save the environment but could also help your wallet.
Use a reusable water bottle- Globally, every 60 seconds one million single-use plastic bottles are bought. One of these bottles can take up to 450 years to decompose. By drinking from a reusable bottle you could save thousands of plastic bottles from landfill.
Buy local food- Like most goods, food must be transported. However, food has a large carbon footprint as many fruits and crops are flown across the globe. By purchasing local food you would be significantly reducing the carbon footprint of your meals.
Practice sustainable fashion- Sustainable fashion is a broad term that includes various positive environmental actions. Purchasing second-hand clothes is a great way to keep clothes from landfill. Similarly, why not donate your old clothes and give them a second life. There are also many sustainable fashion brands out there that provided sustainably sourced clothing aimed at reducing the use of unsustainable materials such as polyester and cotton.
Organise a community clean-up- Community clean-ups are a great way to remove litter from public spaces such as beaches, parks and neighbourhoods. Cleaning up litter helps reduce air and water pollution whilst also improving the appearance of your local area. They are also a great social event to meet likeminded people in the community.
Education is often the foundation for meaningful progress. It is vital that we all educate ourselves about environmental issues such as pollution and climate change before we can act on them. This is we hold great pride in playing a part in education, as a health and safety training provider. Our library of IEMA courses not only introduces the environmental mentality required for change but solidifies principles and practical elements needed for corporate social responsibility.
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