What even is Earth Day?

What even is Earth Day?

Earth Day originated as a response to growing environmental concerns in the US. The idea for the first Earth Day came from Senator Gaylord Nelson, who had been concerned about the deteriorating environment. In January 1969, he witnessed the effects of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Thus came the conception of Earth Day which was once just a teach-in on college campuses to the media. Nowadays, Earth Day represents far more.

Today marks the 54th year since Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. Since then, it has grown far and wide, bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate the Earth and raise awareness for not only climate change but all environmental issues.
While just one day out of an entire year, it continues to remind us of the importance of being environmentally conscious. Moreover, it represents a time to pause and consider the impact of our actions on the Earth, and what we might be able to do better.

I remember celebrating Earth Day every year in elementary and middle school, as well as today at my high school. The influence it has on the younger generation, I think, is the crux of what Earth Day can provide to the community.
It is increasingly apparent that climate change will continue to be more problematic than it already is if action is not taken, so the more awareness, the better. In fact, the Earth is already experiencing everything from rising temperatures and extreme weather events to loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction. The effects of inaction will continue to threaten the environment, and consequently human health, economies, and social stability; Of course, there is hope.

However, creating a sustainable future requires collaboration from all parts of society. From governments and businesses to small communities and the individual, we all have a role to play in taking action.
It doesn’t have to be much: taking shorter showers, buying a reusable water bottle, recycling, or even composting are incredibly easy to start. This Earth Day, let's commit ourselves to taking meaningful action to protect the Earth for the benefit of our future. There is no doubt we can all do better, but let’s take it one step at a time.

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