With the celebration of Earth Day taking place on Thursday, April 22, there are many ways to do your part and celebrate. Although this event is annual (occurring once every year) Earth day is every day and we as a society should support our environment no matter what.
The history of Earth Day
Earth Day has become a global celebration that often gets extended into what is known as “Earth Week” where people actively partake in more sustainable practices. Earth Day was officially founded on April 22nd, 1970, by Senator Gaylord Nelson and was founded based on educating society about the environmental issues occurring in America. America was seldom aware of the effects pollution was causing until the 1960s when Rachel Carson, author of the best-selling book Silent Spring, where she discusses the hazardous effects of pesticides on the American countryside.
How can I make a difference?
With the current climate of the world, it’s safe to say that climate change has become one of the leading factors in the downfall of society. With climate change, especially on a global scale, there has been an abundance of wildfires, drought, intense storms, air pollution, and overall mediocre governance. There are many ways for us to do our part in protecting our planet. The National Ocean Service lists 10 simple ways you can protect the earth with the most prominent aspects being:
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, but following the 3 R’s can help to cut down and limit the amount of waste being dumped into landfills.
- Doing volunteer work. It can be extremely fulfilling to know you helped a good cause that affects the world.
- Utilizing conservation and sustainable practices by doing something as simple as turning the water off when brushing your teeth or making smarter decisions when it comes to food or wildlife.
- Switching up your modes of transportation. This may vary depending on location but biking is a great way to conserve energy. Not to mention, you burn calories in the process! It can also aid in reducing your carbon footprint.
- Donating to a good cause. Not sure which one to choose? Green matters or Blue and green tomorrow can help!
Here are some fun facts about the Earth that you may or may not have known:
- Earth is a squashed sphere! Yes… it’s not a perfect sphere. It mainly has to do with gravity, considering when the Earth spins, gravity pushes itself towards the center but with gravity being an opposing force on one axis, it causes an imbalance which would explain it not being a perfect shape. Pretty neat, huh?
- Earth may have been purple?! Doctor Shil DasSarma believes the culprit comes from a molecule (that isn’t chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants) that gave organisms a violet hue.
- Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
- Coral reefs are the largest living structures. Coral reefs contain many species with some being so large, so they can even be seen from space!
- There are many Earth-like planets. Scientists are constantly discovering new information about space including the discovery of Kepler 22-b which is officially considered having a “habitable zone” according to NASA.
- Earth may have a second moon… now, this is 100% proven but scientists believe a minuscule second moon orbiting the Earth before it devastatingly slammed into the other. Some scientists also claim that Earth may still have two moons as of December 2011.
The best thing about Earth Day is that anyone can participate and there are many ways to do so. For more information on this year’s activities, fun facts, or ways to contribute, visit earthday.org.
Happy Earth Day!