Earth Day

Earth Day - Tuesday, April 22, 2025

Cause Awareness Environment

For the past 50 years, Earth Day has been celebrated by billions of people around the globe, annually every April 22, to join together in promoting awareness for the health of our environment. Why should we continue to celebrate this holiday in 2020? Some people may view it as just another holiday, or an excuse to wear green and a flower crown, similar to St. Patrick’s Day, but with serious concerns about our changing environment being studied and addressed today by prominent scientists, politicians, and young climate change activists alike, some people are adapting to more environmentally friendly ways of living — every day, not just on April 22 every year. Cue the composting, recycling, repurposing, carpooling, thrifting, and metal straws to save the turtles.

Earth, due to human activity, is in trouble. The ozone layer’s depleting, ecosystems are being lost and people are starving for food and water. Additionally, endangered species are dying at a faster than average rate.

Earth Day, one of the first global initiatives to protect and help conserve the earth, has become a holiday that strives for change on a global scale. It aims at convincing people that their actions matter in preserving the planet.

History of Earth Day

As the world’s most massive environmental movement and one of the most popular holidays to be celebrated, the idea for Earth Day is rooted in history.

Founder Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator, thought of the idea after witnessing the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he believed it was essential that energy was shifted to concerns about air and water pollution.

His efforts would help put the environmental protection on the political agenda and thus produce change. After continuous work, Nelson helped spread his message to national media and promoted events across the United States. In 1970, 20 million Americans listened and took the streets.

They formed demonstration rallies in support of this cause. Groups that have been previously rallying against environmental factors separately all realized they had shared values, and thus came together on this day.

The first Earth Day since then led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It has also led to the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. It wasn’t until 1990 that Earth Day spread globally, spreading the message across 200 million people in 141 countries.

The year 2020 will mark the 50 anniversary of Earth Day celebrated around the globe. As a day of action, this day aims to promote environment changes through policy and peaceful protest. Multiple venues host events that showcase the importance of caring for the environment.

They help by teaching people the consequences of their behaviors and how that affects the ecosystem they live in. People also choose on this day to make conscientious changes by recycling more, using less fuel and conserving water.

How to Celebrate Earth Day

Find a local event near you and celebrate Earth Day by learning about what your actions do to the environment. You can also learn why maintaining the earth’s ecosystems is vital to our survival. Sign up for Earth Day’s Educator Network to help organize an event near you, or donate money to their official website.

These funds help in pushing toward environmental policies. Spread the word about Earth Day through social media and let your friends and family know why protecting the earth is essential to you.

History of Earth Day

The idea for Earth Day was originally born in 1969, when a US Senator named Gaylord Nelson, witnessed the effects of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. He called to action all Americans to take a stand for the environment in 1970, and thousands of colleges and universities across the United States organized protests for a healthy, sustainable Earth. This included air pollution from factories and freeways, as well as the loss of habitats for animals and animal extinction. Because of these national rallies, the first Earth Day helped create the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts into law.

Today, we have similar concerns, and unfortunately they are even messier than that original oil spill. Increasing natural disasters, extreme weather, and rising global temperatures may seem impossible for one human, let alone millions or even billions of humans, to slow down, or stop. It has been reported that coral reefs are dying, we see pictures of animals on land and in the ocean with trash in their bellies or around their body, and corporate factories and large companies around the world continue to pollute our air and our living spaces. But a small action, like picking up litter on the sidewalk that may have otherwise ended up around the neck of an animal or in the ocean, still makes an impact — a step in the right direction, and an important change.

Earth Day timeline


Green New Deal is presented

A “Green New Deal” Resolution is presented to the United States Congress for 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources.


School Strikes for Climate Change

Young people begin to strike for climate change, led by Greta Thunberg in Sweden, with around 2,200 strikes organized in 125 countries from 2018 - 2019.


Earth Day becomes Globally Popular

200 million people are now organizing and united, fighting for climate protections across 141 countries.


The First Ever Earth Day

20 million Americans protest in the streets for more environmental protections.

Earth Day FAQs

What is the theme for Earth Day 2020?

The theme highlights a new challenge every year, and the theme for this year is ‘Climate Change’, according to Earth Day Network.

What should I do for Earth Day?

If you’re looking for an event, like a group cleanup project, or climate strike rally to join, visit the global interactive map on Earth Day Networks’ website. There are many things to do to support our planet, and multiple ways to get connected locally to your community on Earth Day.

Should I wear green on Earth Day?

Though supporting the holiday through apparel is encouraged in order to promote awareness, the most important thing is not what you wear on this day, but what you do.

5 Facts About Earth Day That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Record high carbon dioxide

    According to the National Geographic society, the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has never been higher, in part potentially due to nature, and in part due to the advances we as humans have made in industrialization across the globe, since the 1700’s.

  2. Less food waste means less greenhouse gas

    Many people may not know this, but the more food we waste and do not consume, the more greenhouse gasses are emitted to transport and biodegrade the waste.

  3. Climate change effects temperatures and weather

    According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the temperature in the U.S. has increased by 2 degrees in the last 50 years and precipitation has increased by 5%. More extreme weather phenomenons have been occuring in the past 50 years -- Extreme weather in 2019 broke over 120,000 records in the US.

  4. It’s a politically debated topic

    Even though 97 percent or more of climate scientists agree that climate change is likely due to human activity (according to the Earth Day Network), and nearly 200 scientific organizations globally have issued statements that agree with this view, it’s still a widely debated topic in 2020.

  5. The top emitter of carbon dioxide

    China, with their human population of 1.4 Billion, is currently the top emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 30% of global carbon emissions, according to Earth Day Network. However, the United States, with a population around 328 Million, comes in second under China as a top emitter, at 15% of carbon emissions worldwide.

Earth Day Activities

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint

    Get creative with new ways to switch up your commute, or a part of your daily routine. Instead of driving to your destination, carpool with friends, take public transportation, walk, skate, scooter, or ride a bike. Depending on the weather, you may enjoy this new form of travel even more than sitting in traffic.

  2. Reuse, and recycle your wardrobe

    Though it may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, your closet and your shopping habits can actually have a negative effect on our environment. By buying thrifted or gently used outfits online, new resources aren’t used to make more clothes that will eventually end up being repurposed, reused, or in a landfill. Some studies have shown that online shopping is better for the environment because it takes about 30% less resources to sell items online. Fire up your Amazon Prime app!

  3. Switch up your diet

    Most people may know that food production accounts for one-quarter to one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and the majority of the blame falls on the meat industry. The BBC recently reported that if the entire world became vegetarian and ate no red meat by 2050, food-related emissions would decrease by about 60%. If the world went vegan instead, emissions would decrease around 70%. It may be time to try out the new ‘Beyond Meat’ burgers.

Why We Love Earth Day

  1. Everyone can participate

    The idea behind continuing to celebrate Earth Day, and why we love it, is because it is based on people working together in unity to achieve a better future for everyone. Connecting with people around the world is important to continue to appreciate and respect people from different countries, and other differences in opinion. No one is left out or left behind, everyone can do something small to make an impact on our planet.

  2. Small acts matter

    You don’t have to plant a forest to enjoy Earth Day. Even if you feel like reusing your metal water bottle instead of buying a plastic bottle or a styrofoam coffee cup doesn’t make much of a difference, your small acts can change and improve the world we live in. Now that you have awareness that climate change is affecting all of us, do your part to make positive changes wherever you go, no matter how small, they are significant, and this is your chance to improve our world.

  3. We only have one Earth

    Earth Day serves as a conscious reminder of how fragile our ecosystem can be, and how our actions can have positive or negative consequences on the world we live in. This holiday serves to ground us in what we need to do to protect our home, and what we can do now, in light of all the damage we have already done to our world. Not everyone has to go out in the streets and protest, but we all need to be reminded to stay in the right mindset -- Not to live in constant fear of the world burning down and flooding, but not to live in ignorance, either.

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