Earth Day is an annual call to arms for the public to learn more about the beauty of the world and the dangers threatening the natural order. The celebration falls each year on April 22, with hundreds of millions of people around the globe participating together. This year’s event marks the 49th ever Earth Day, since its inception in 1970. Earth Day is organised and promoted by the Earth Day Network (EDN).
What is Earth Day 2019?
Earth Day officially kicked off nearly half-a-century ago on April 22, 1970, which the Earth Day Network boasts marks the birth of modern environmentalism.
The Earth Day Network said: “At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans
“Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press.
“Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity.
“‘Environment’ was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.”
Today, the annual celebration campaigns for environmental causes, sustainability and direct action towards protecting the planet from harmful human activity.
According to the EDN, more than one billion people across 192 countries participate each year.
The movement has helped governments pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act to help protect the Earth.
EDN President Kathleen Rogers said: “It is a day of political action and civic participation.
“People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads.
“Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures.
“Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.”
What is the theme of Earth Day 2019?
Last year’s Earth Day focused on the dangers of plastics polluting the world’s oceans and seas.
From single-use plastics to bottles, micro-plastics and other pollutants, Earth Day tried to raise awareness of the issue.
This year, Earth Day focuses on protecting the world’s most endangered species of animals, insects and more.
Environmentalists can learn more this month about the destruction of natural habitats, poaching and the extinction of animal species by human hand.
The EDN said: “All living things have an intrinsic value, and each plays a unique role in the complex web of life.
“We must work together to protect endangered and threatened species: bees, coral reefs, elephants, giraffes, insects, whales and more.
The good news is that the rate of extinctions can still be slowed, and many of our declining, threatened and endangered species can still recover if we work together now to build a united global movement of consumers, voters, educators, faith leaders, and scientists to demand immediate action.”
READ MORE: How can we help stop climate change?
How to participate in Earth Day 2019?
US space agency NASA has asked all interested enthusiasts to snap and share close-up photos of the world’s natural wonders.
On Earth Day, NASA will select and share its favourite images submitted to social media under the hashtag #PictureEarth.
NASA said: “Post a close-up photo on social media of your favourite natural features, such as crashing waves, ancient trees, blooming flowers or stunning sunsets.
“Use the hashtag #PictureEarth and upload the photo on April 22.
“Be sure to include the location where the photo was taken in the text of your social media post.”
NASA will look for the best submissions on Instagram, Twitter and the official NASA Earth Facebook age.