For more than 50 years, we have celebrated World Earth Day, which is currently recognized as the most emblematic participatory day dedicated to the environment on the globe. It is nowadays celebrated by hundreds of millions of people in most countries worldwide. The overall objective of Earth Day is, according to the official site earthday.org, to promote the development of a mass of citizens aware of climate issues. In short, possessing a shared knowledge gives rise to the collective action to protect the environment. Here’s what you need to know about Earth Day 2022.
When is Earth Day in 2022?
Earth Day 2022 takes place every April 22. So we will celebrate it on Friday, April 22, 2022.
When was the first Earth Day?
Environmentalist US Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the first Earth Day in 1970 to recall the importance of clean air and clean water following a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. On this occasion, 20 million people took to the streets in the United States, about 10% of the country’s population at the time.
This parade led to the adoption of several founding laws, such as those on the protection of air, water, and endangered species, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the administration of Richard Nixon.
In 1990, under the aegis of American environmentalist Denis Hayes, Earth Day became a worldwide event, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and acting as a lever for global environmental issues. Earth Day boosted reuse and recycling awareness campaigns and the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Over the years, and with a few milestone years such as 2000 or 2006, Earth Day, now called « International Mother Earth Day », has gradually become the main environmental event on the planet, also the anniversary date of the ecological turnaround. In 2016, Earth Day took place on the same day as the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, resulting from COP 21.
Why an Earth Day?
Coordinated by the « Earth Day Network », Earth Day is all about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet Earth with its incredible biodiversity. According to the UN on its official website, the DNA of « International Mother Earth Day » is more precisely to raise awareness of the challenges facing our planet, based on the idea that the Earth and its ecosystems are what nourishes us and sustain our steps throughout life. In short, our only home. During this day, various national and international activities are carried out to understand biodiversity and how to protect our nature, plants, animals, and the environment as a whole.
What are the ecological gestures to put in place?
Every year, World Earth Day allows citizens to reflect on the damage inflicted on the planet and on the super-simple everyday actions to preserve it:
1/ REDUCE OUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION
8 million tons. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, that’s how much plastic finds its way into marine ecosystems each year. This is the equivalent of a garbage truck being unloaded at sea every minute. If nothing is done, this number will increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050, specifies the Foundation.
These tons of plastic break up over time, and fish and marine animals mistake them for food and swallow them. Some die from it, and others are caught and end up on our plates and the plastics with it.
What can I do on my scale?
- Stop all single-use plastic consumption: coffee stirrers, cotton swabs, cutlery, cups, straws, etc.
- Limit the purchase of products packaged in plastic as much as possible,
- Refuse plastic bags in stores when you don’t need them and take your reusable bag before you go shopping
2/ REDUCE OUR WASTE
The products we buy and consume have considerable impacts on the environment, especially at the end of their life: our waste production has doubled in 40 years!
We have a direct and decisive influence on these impacts according to our ways of consuming: when buying products, using them or when we dispose of them. Well informed, we can make more ecological but also more economical choices.
What can I do on my scale?
- Buy in bulk: this is the best way to limit packaging and not buy more than you need
- Donate, exchange or sell the products you no longer want rather than throwing them away
- Respect selective sorting: a well-sorted product is a recycled product