Earth Day is April 22, 2019. This will be the 49th anniversary of the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, when millions of people marched to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. Smog was becoming a deadly problem in the U.S. and around the world. There was growing evidence to suggest that developmental delays in children were linked to pollution and the overuse of pesticides and other pollutants was threatening the biodiversity of the Earth.
The US Congress and President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in July 1970 and passed environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Earth Day has grown into a global event. Kathleen Rogers, the president of Earth Day Network, estimates more than 1 billion people in 192 countries will take part in Earth Day activities this year.
People will march, plant trees, sign petitions, meet with elected officials, participate in clean up efforts in their towns and along highways. Corporations will pledge to follow environmentally responsible business practices and governments will pledge to pass and enforce laws which will protect the earth.
Last year’s theme selected by Earth Day Network was ending Plastic Pollution on a global scale. Though progress has been slow, more communities are committing to work toward 100% recycling of plastics and eliminating single use plastics.
This year’s theme is Protecting Our Species.
The rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity. Rapid reduction of plant life and wildlife populations is directly linked to climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides.
Great care must be taken to save endangered and threatened species such as bees, coral reefs, elephants, giraffes, insects, whales, trees, plants, birds, fish sharks crustaceans, sea turtles and great apes.
The goals of Earth Day Network for protecting our species include:*
1. Educating and raising awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
2. Achieving major policy victories that protect broad groups of species, individual species and their habitats.
3. Building and activating a global movement to embrace nature and its values.
4. Encouraging individual actions such as adopting a plant based diet and eliminating pesticide and herbicide use.
What can you do this year to support Earth Day?
1. Pick up trash in a neighborhood park or playground with your friends or family.
2. Stop using plastic straws – if you need to use straws, choose silicone or metal reusable straws. They are inexpensive, reusable and come with cleaning brushes to make clean up easier.
3. Reuse, reduce and recycle – consider buying some items in bulk to reduce packaging waste or store food stuffs in reusable glass jars instead of plastic containers.
4. Plant trees and a bee friendly garden - we tell you how in https://www.thisawfulawesomelife.com/home/2018/3/15/attract-bees-birds-and-butterflies-to-your-yard-and-keep-mosquitoes-away-by-fran-joyce-bd63t?rq=bees.
5. Support efforts to stop poachers or trophy hunters from killing animals from the threatened or endangered species list.
6. Write/email your elected officials and let them know you support legislation to protect endangered species.
7. Do some research and get the facts about climate change.
· Information for this article was taken from https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/earthday2019/