Welcome to the Take Over Tuesday guest post series. I feature posts by fellow bloggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Do you have some expertise or a great story to share? Consider submitting something to the Humans of the Outdoors series or contacting me directly.
This week’s feature is from Matthew Evans. Matthew works with Art Windows and Doors who specialise in energy saving windows and doors. He studied environmental studies and writing as he has always had a passion for both. He will continue to try and spread the word about how easy it is to save energy, thus helping the world to become a healthier place.
Everything You Need to Know About Earth Day
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is a worldwide annual event celebrated on April 22nd that brings people together in the spirit of environmental protection. The very first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and has grown in popularity ever since, now reaching more than 193 countries. Originally, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. In particular, people were worried about the effects that smog was having on the environment and everyone’s health. As there was such a large number of people who got involved, President Nixon and the US Congress got together and created the Environmental Protection Agency not long after the protest. Earth Day has grown from being celebrated by 20 million people to a massive 1 billion people! It is a truly special day and one that everyone can enjoy and participate in.
Why is Earth Day important?
Earth day is important because it not only raises the awareness of environmental problems but it also celebrates the natural beauty of the Earth. On this day we can enjoy what this wonderful world provides us with every day, life. It’s easy to take for granted how beautiful this planet is and how incredibly important its natural wonders are. Whether we take the day to celebrate its green forests, deep blue oceans or dramatic wildlife, all that matters is that we come together to help protect our home, not just for our generation but for generations and generations still to come.
Raising awareness for helping to protect the environment is not a new concept. We all recycle when we can, hear about climate change and watch films and TV programmes about how we can do more. This is all fantastic of course, but the great thing about Earth Day is how the entire world comes together on one day to raise awareness, worldwide. It is a powerful and humbling feeling to know that over a billion people are all helping to protect the environment, together.
Thanks to Earth Day and other eco-friendly charities more and more countries are making changes to be more ‘green’. For example, Italy, Morocco, and Nicaragua are now passing laws that will create a new generation of skilled green energy jobs in a way that we have never seen before. The Paris Climate Agreement will take effect soon, and Sweden has now passed a new law which means they will be carbon neutral by 2045. Although we still have a long way to go, as a world we are making great strides in helping to protect the planet and making it a safer, nicer place for the next generation.
How can I get involved?
There are many ways in which you can get involved in Earth Day. One of the easiest ways to get involved is by simply celebrating the day and taking part in an event near you. To find out if there is anything happening in your local community check the Earth Day website or your local government website. But, if you wanted to really get involved then here are some of the great things you can do:
- Plant a tree – Deforestation contributes to species extinction, poverty and is sadly responsible for up to 15% of the global greenhouse gas emissions which is causing climate change. Planting a tree is a fun and easy way of helping to fight this.
- Reduce your footprint – The Earth Day website has a fantastic Ecological Footprint Quiz which can help you to see how you can personally reduce your impact on the planet. Take the quiz here.
- Eat less meat – Nearly 1/5th of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is caused by the meat industry. By eating less meat we can drastically reduce this.
- Stop using disposable plastic – Supermarkets all over the country are already getting rid of their plastic bags but some of us still to choose to use them. By only using eco-friendly bags we can dramatically reduce the footprint.
- Organise a community activity – Why not set up a fun activity to celebrate Earth Day in your local community? Get the kids involved and make it as fun as possible to help children to see environmental protection as a good and happy thing.
Here are a few sad and sobering facts about the environment that you might find hard to believe:
- Every year in the U.S. nearly 200 billion beverage containers are sold, two-thirds of which are sent to the landfill, incinerated or littered.
- A glass bottle made in our time will take more than 4,000 years to decompose.
- Rainforests are cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute.
- We can save 75,000 trees if we recycled the paper used on the daily run of the New York Times alone.
- When you throw plastic bags and other plastic materials in the ocean, it kills as many as 1 million sea creatures annually.
- 27,000 trees are cut down each day for toilet paper.
- Pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million worldwide.
- The United States produces 30% of the world’s waste and uses 25 % of the world’s natural resources.
- UK households throw away between £250 and £400 of potentially edible food every year.
- Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef has been damaged as a result of climate change.
How are you pledging to further reduce your footprint this Earth Day?
Read more posts about Earth Day at mamanonthetrail.com.