What is Earth Day?
Founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was established after the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, ultimately to protest the industrial revolution. The day it was introduced, April 22, 1970, 20 million people participated. Today, more than 1 billion people across 192 countries partake in this environmental movement to promote green thinking and the preservation of our planet.
A slew of nature loving, planet-hugging events are open to the public each year. In 2015, cities all over the world celebrated Earth Day with festivals, 5Ks, flash mobs, hikes and more. Find an event near you or take on Earth Day solo.
How Can I help?
10 Things you can do Right Now to Support Earth Day
1. Turn off your lights.
And don’t stop there! Turn off any unnecessary appliances or electronics including heating/cooling systems, televisions, microwaves and more. You can also swap all of your light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, which provide the same amount of light as the incandescent model, but use less energy and last ten times longer.
2. Keep the car in the garage.
CO2 concentrations are at an all time high. The constant burning of fossil fuels led to the warmest first quarter in years in 2015, and has resulted in one of the hottest topics in the news- global warming. Today’s emissions have a great effect on future generations, because a single molecule can survive in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.
3. Plant a tree.
One fully-grown tree can provide as much oxygen for two human beings. Plus, because of the shade and wind shielding they provide, annual heating and cooling costs are reduced by 2.1 billion dollars annually.
4. Clean up your local park.
Four pounds of garbage are produced every single day by the average American citizen. That’s more than 1,600 pounds a year per person! Grab your garbage picker and get pickin’.
Believe it or not, if you recycle one plastic bottle, you can power a computer for 25 minutes. Recycle one glass bottle and power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
6. Educate yourself.
Whether you pop in a documentary (Powering the Planet and Inside the Garbage of the World to name a few), watch a TEDTalk, or read up at your local library, taking time to learn about our planet will ultimately produce informed, educated citizens. Don’t forget to share what you learn, either!
7. Buy “green” brands.
Make an effort to replace your current inventory of food, coffee, household cleaners, and other every day items with those that are environmentally friendly. Try to remember to read product labels before purchasing so you can look out for chemicals that are harmful to your body and to our planet.
8. Ditch the plastic water bottle.
19.4 billion pounds of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year. Instead of grabbing that 24-pack of spring water at the grocery store, opt for a BPA-free bottle made from renewable materials.
9. Go meatless on Mondays.
Disclaimer: it doesn’t have to be Mondays- but you know what we mean. Studies reveal that significantly more carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (the three main greenhouse gases) are emitted by meat production than vegetable production. Plus, to produce a single pound of beef, approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed.
10. Sign a pledge.
Signing a pledge shows your commitment to helping our planet, so roll out the green carpet and get started. Tell us below what you pledge to do to keep our earth healthy and thriving!