On this day we should take a moment to appreciate the incredible natural wonders of our planet, to stop and see the leaves rustling in the trees, the intricate details in a flower or the vast mountains towering above us. For today is Earth Day…

Pakistan, natural world - Earth Day 2016
The mountains of Pakistan
Sunflower detail
The intricate detail of a Sunflower
Tree in wind, earth day 2016
Countryside

 

 

 

 

 

 

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson after witnessing the horrors of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realised that if he could infuse that energy into people about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the political agenda. On the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans from all walks of life became part of the world’s largest environmental movement on the planet.

46 years later and it is predicted that over one billion people across the world will get involved this year. There are over 50,000 partners in 196 countries across the planet working together to build environmental democracy through education, public policy and consumer campaigns.

This year’s Earth Day is a particularly momentous occasion as leaders from 160 countries will officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement which aims to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Earth Day 1970, Philadelphia, USA
Earth Day 1970, Philadelphia, USA
Santa Barbara Oil Spill 1969
Santa Barbara Oil Spill, 1969
Signing Paris Agreement, 22 April 2016
Signing Paris Agreement, 22 April 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst we’re not all world leaders, there are many things each and everyone of us can do to help our planet. Here are a few ideas:

  • Walk to work, cycle or take public transport
  • Use a reusable coffee cup
  • Make sure you recycle
  • Go paperless
  • Take a tote bag to the shop
  • Plant a tree
  • Go meat or dairy free at least once a week
  • Carry a reusable water bottle
  • Buy local produce

To find out more, watch Earth Day’s video below. Happy Earth Day.

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