Today we celebrate Earth’s Day. Beyond this being a holiday in some places, it is a day to reflect about how we act and protect our life source.
This day is celebrated internationally, and in 2009 the United Nations proclaimed its importance. However, this celebration has occurred since the 1970s, a decade in which major groups started to consider the impact of overpopulation, contamination and the importance of protecting biodiversity and the environment.
According to the UN, some notable pro-environmental actions that have occured in the past during this date include:
In Asia, mountain climbers from China, Russia, and the USA formed a team to collect trash left behind by past expeditions on Mount Everest. They collected over two tons of trash.
In France, participants joined hands to form a human chain along the Loire River, extending over 800km in length, with the purpose of honoring one of the last clean rivers in Europe.
Around five thousand people in Italy blocked streets as a way to protest car contamination.
Haiti declared Earth Day an official national holiday.
In Jordan, around 10,000 students gathered to lead cleaning campaigns.
Around 35,000 environmentally conscious Japanese gathered around Yumenoshima, or dream island, which was artificially built using waste landfill. Data taken from a publication made by the UN.
As we have seen with this COVID-19 pandemic, there is a strong relationship between our environment and our survival. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, every four months a new disease affects humans. From those, 75% come from animals. Once more, this demonstrates the close relationship between humans, animals and the environment.
We must fight the climate crisis and protect the biodiversity that exists. It is the smallest of actions that can have the most profound impacts if a great number of people participate. We can give our planet a breather and we would be the ones to benefit. After all, it is our home and we have the responsibility to take care of it.
You may ask, what can I do to help?
I would suggest that you start locally, thinking about ways in which you can support the environment. You may form groups to consider doing activities such as cleaning your local park, or the beach if you are close to it. You can create awareness in your community and encourage others to gain a sense of urgency about taking care of the planet. Given the prominence of social media, it could be great for you to post or repost about #Earth’sDay #TakingCareofMotherEarth and this can be our way to heed the call, before it is too late.