Every 22nd of April marks Earth Day, a global observance highlighting the importance of environmental protection and sustainability. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 when millions came together to raise awareness about our planet’s environmental issues. Today, more than 50 years later, Earth Day continues to serve as a reminder of the urgent need for action to protect our planet.
History of Earth Day
The first Earth Day was organised by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard University, who wanted to create a national day to promote environmental education and awareness.
On 22 April 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans participated in rallies, teach-ins, and other events nationwide to call for greater environmental protection. It marked a turning point in the environmental movement, leading to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of major environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 190 countries worldwide, with various events and activities focused on environmental education, awareness-raising, and calls to action.
Earth Day 2023 Theme: Invest in Our Planet
The theme for Earth Day 2023 is Invest in Our Planet, which urges people, companies, and governments to take action and invest in sustainable solutions to tackle environmental issues and climate change. The goal is to dedicate resources to protect the planet and pave the way for a better future. Collaborative efforts towards investing in our planet can lead to the well-being of communities worldwide, making them healthier, happier, and more prosperous.
We Are Running Out of Time
As the state of nature worsens, it is imperative to take action. Plastic waste, ocean acidity, extreme weather conditions, and the COVID-19 pandemic – all linked to the health of our ecosystem – have affected millions of people worldwide. Human activities like deforestation, land use changes, and the illegal wildlife trade have disrupted biodiversity and hastened the planet’s destruction.
Restoring damaged ecosystems can help end poverty, combat climate change, and prevent mass extinction. However, this requires collective effort and a shift to a sustainable economy that benefits both people and the planet. Promoting harmony with nature and Earth and joining the global movement to restore our world is crucial.
Ways to Get Involved
Getting involved in Earth Day is crucial because it allows individuals and communities to take action toward protecting the planet. With environmental issues becoming increasingly pressing, people must become aware of their environmental impact and take steps to mitigate it.
There are many ways to get involved in Earth Day and make a difference for our planet. Some ideas include:
- Participate in community events. Check your local community events and get involved with local environmental organisations facilitating Earth Day events.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. Commit to reducing your carbon footprint by driving less, using public transport, reducing energy consumption, and eating a plant-based diet.
- Support sustainable businesses. Buy from companies that are committed to sustainable practices by choosing to buy eco-friendly products and services.
- Advocate for policy changes. Contact your local representatives and advocate for policy changes that will support sustainability efforts in your community.
- Organise your own event. Some examples of popular events to organise include planning a march or rally, hosting a community cleanup, or arranging teach-ins to educate your peers or students about the importance of environmental action.
The Role of Educational Institutions
Educational institutions can play a crucial role in Earth Day celebrations by incorporating sustainable practices into their daily operations and promoting environmental awareness among students and staff. Here are some examples:
Universities: These institutions can incorporate environmental topics into their curriculum and provide students with opportunities to engage in environmental research and advocacy, which can help nurture the next generation of environmental leaders.
Professors: Teachers can organize events such as tree-planting activities, clean-up drives, and eco-fairs, which can help create a sense of community with their students and help foster a culture of environmental stewardship. Furthermore, professors can leverage technology to facilitate virtual Earth Day events and webinars to educate students and staff on environmental issues and ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
Administrators: Educational authorities can adopt sustainable practices such as recycling programs, energy-efficient lighting, water conservation measures, and sustainable transportation options. By implementing these practices, institutions can reduce their environmental impact and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
Overall, educational institutions have the potential to play a critical role in Earth Day celebrations by helping to promote environmental sustainability, both within their communities and beyond.
Sustainability Efforts from Sage
The team at Sage Publishing has been striving to decrease its environmental footprint for over a decade. While we are dedicated to all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our efforts toward environmental sustainability are particularly relevant. We intend to transition towards planning and assessing our objectives and achievements regarding the UN SDGs over time.
To demonstrate our commitment to the SDG Publishers Compact, which involves actively promoting and obtaining content that advocates for the themes represented by the SDGs, we have introduced a new microsite to endorse and amplify critical themes of the UN SDGs.
You can read more about research and ideas aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals here.
It’s Time to Invest In Our Planet
The urgency for action toward protecting our planet is higher than ever before. With Earth Day 2023’s “Invest in Our Planet” theme, we are called to take a collective stand toward sustainable solutions to tackle environmental issues and climate change. Our actions today impact our tomorrow, and we must take the initiative to restore damaged ecosystems and combat climate change. As we move forward, let’s join the global movement to restore our world and invest in our planet for a sustainable future.