Fifty Years Of Earth Day!

Apr 22, 2020 By Deepa Gopal
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It is but a tiny speck of blue in the vast ocean of space. Yet it is very essential and important to us. We call it our home and it is our planet Earth.

Our Earth is very vulnerable and so are its inhabitants. We, humans, are doing more than our fair share to deplete our planet of all its rich vitality.

Every year on April 22, people from over 195 countries come together to give our Earth the attention that is due. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is Climate Action as it is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

However, this year is different, with the pandemic forcing people to socially distance from each other. Let's look at ways we can still celebrate.

A 50-Year-Old Movement!

Did you know that Earth Day began 50 years ago as a result of one man's call to action?

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans - mostly college students, took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to clean, pick up trash, plant trees, and do many acts, to show their concern for the planet we call home.

They were responding to a plea from Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. Senator Nelson was deeply disturbed that an issue as important as our environment was not addressed by politics or by the media. His point was that we have only one earth and so we need to take care of it. The response to his call was astonishing, and the grassroots movement eventually led to national legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

Today, Earth Day has become an international movement and is celebrated in 195 countries. Many believe 'Earth Day' enjoys this massive support because ordinary people who care for the environment find it an opportunity to send a message to public officials to protect our planet. It also is a great way to educate the general public.

Ways To Celebrate In A Pandemic

There are several ways we can each celebrate this special day this year to honor our beautiful planet. 

  • Go for a walk or run in the neighborhood or hike a trail. Or go biking. Be mindful of the people around you and keep a safe distance. However, be present to the chirping of birds, the buzzing of bees, and the rustling of leaves swaying in the breeze -- all a reminder that nature is alive and eternal.
  • If you love gardening, tend to the plants, pull out weeds, or water your indoor plants. There is nothing like gardening for a truly immersive experience!
  • Finally, sit in your backyard for a few minutes of peace and quiet or watch a nice nature video.