Earth Day 2020 will be so different than any other Earth Day to take place since the first one was celebrated in 1970. This will be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, a day that marks support and protection of our environment. I find the fact that this year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, as humanity is going through an unprecedented time, our planet is finally going to be celebrated as it should be every Earth Day by getting a rest from the daily release of methane, carbon dioxide mold and smoke to name a few. But we’ll get into this later on.
Every year on April 22nd, people all across the world express and celebrate their love for our plant and the environment. They create awareness and raise concerns over global warming, living organisms, mammals and animals. They voice concerns over how our environment is abused and the direct correlation of pollution and the health and safety of humans. But where did the idea of Earth Day come from? Who thought of Earth Day? It all started from one man’s idea and his name is (Senator) Gaylord Nelson. His idea was born after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. At the time it was the largest oil spill recorded in the United States. Today it ranks 3rd behind the 1989 Exxon Valdez and 2010 Deepwater Horizon spills.
Today, Earth Day is celebrated in over 190 countries around the world and a myriad of topics are addressed and under the microscope on this very special day. Personally, I think that’s what makes Earth Day so important; the fact that there is no arranged agenda, just people coming together for the greater good of our planet and everything within our atmosphere here on earth. The people set the agenda, the people set the cause and you yourself as an individual can take action to do better for OUR environment and planet. You might ask yourself, well I’m new to this whole Earth Day thing so how can I make a difference? There are a ton of ways I’m happy to say! Whether it’s by:
- Spending some time outside planting a tree
- Picking up garbage in your neighborhood or at the local park
- Using organic or other natural products in your garden and on your lawn and property
- Raise awareness by hosting an event or conference
- Reduce the use of energy for 24 hours
Another option would be to do as the first 20,000,000 people did who celebrated the first Earth Day and march! On this, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, public gathering won’t be an option for us, so look to the above examples for some guidance. Participate any way you can. Our environment needs your contribution now more than ever.
Earth Day is 50 Years Old!
As Earth Day hits the big 5-O this year I thought It would be a good idea to share some facts on the state of our planet and environment to help others to understand what Earth Day represents. Some of these facts are glaring, shocking and if we do not change the way we are treating our environment how many more generations of children will really be able to enjoy our beautiful world? Let’s review some facts:
Every minute throughout the world an estimated 1 million water bottles are sold. If those water bottles are not recycled properly and end up in the landfill each bottle will take up to 1,000 years to decompose. 1,000 years! That’s a lot of lifetimes, and can you imagine how many have already been disposed of improperly?
This next fact is staggering. Did you know that according to Ocean Conservancy, 60% of all seabirds have been found to have plastic in their stomachs? Even more mind blowing, 100% of all sea turtles have been found to have plastic in their stomachs.
You can do more at home! Everyone loves having a lush green lawn… We all want to be the envy of our neighbours when it comes to our lawn and garden but did you know that when we are cutting our lawns each summer it takes more than 757,000,000 litres of gasoline for those lawnmowers to work and be maintained?
Global warming and droughts are linked. Droughts all around the world are happening more and more frequently. This is all due to climate change and global warming. This has tremendously impacted the rate at which we’re seeing unprecedented wildfires that rage for long periods of time. Not to mention the impact on farmers who are the backbone of the food industry and supply chain.
What about the animals? Here is a fact from the World Wildlife Federation that should catch your attention. They estimate that 20-30% of all animal species are at risk of extinction because of climate change. 20-30% people! Those wildfires and increased global temperatures have a lot to do with this statistic.
How Do Humans Affect the Environment?
If you still have some questions about how we as humans affect the environment after everything we’ve covered, let’s get into some specifics.
Earth Day on April 22nd, 2020 will be significantly different than any other to date. Our planet will actually get the rest it deserves while humanity slugs its way through the global pandemic that is COVID-19. Still though, how do humans truly affect the environment? Well the short answer is negatively, and that is each and every day. The changes created by humans within our environment are physical and real. Here are some examples of how we affect the environment negatively on a daily basis:
- Burning of fossil fuels
- Poor handling and disposal of hazardous wastes, including chemical wastes
Because of the changes to the environment we as humans have created, over time it has triggered significant long term issues to the sustainability of our planet. Some of these key changes are:
- Climate change*
- Soil erosion
- Poor air quality
- Undrinkable water
*Climate change is real and we as humans are responsible. Have you heard of NASA (rhetorical question lol)? Well the scientists at NASA have publicly stated that there is a 95% chance the human race is responsible for climate change. WE MUST BE BETTER! WE MUST DO MORE!
We Must Co-exist! Our Collective Future Depends on it!
As we start wrapping things up, we have to remember one very important thing; Earth Day was not born from a positive event, it was born from a response to a humanity made disaster. Generations and generations of people have lived on this planet. It is approximated that over 108 billion people have lived on earth according to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and as of 2019 they estimated that 7.5 billion people live on earth currently in the 20th century. Earth’s population has exploded. PRB estimates that by 2050 there will have been approximately 113 billion people who have lived on Earth. These are staggering numbers and the math shows that our population growth continues to skyrocket.
The point I’m trying to make above is we must, absolutely must, co-exist with our environment or inevitably something apocalyptic will take place. My bet is Mother Nature will prevail. The population numbers above represent why many of our environmental challenges will likely only continue to worsen over time if not addressed properly and immediately. One thing is clear. Overpopulation is the intangible factor.
But there is good news! There are things we can do to slow this process. We’ve covered some of them today. To say we can reverse things like climate change is likely not a reasonable statement. But slowing it and preserving what we have within our existing environment is a viable option. In order to do this we have to live harmoniously with nature, our planet and its environment. It starts with each and every one of us. Do your part on April 22nd as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. But more importantly do your part each and every day to create the environmental change our planet is screaming for. Everything depends on it.