Earth Day 101: Everything You Need to Know
As the famous environmentalist and “Father of the National Parks” John Muir once said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” These words couldn’t be truer than on Earth Day, an annual holiday held every April to celebrate Mother Earth.
What is Earth Day?
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 after efforts from US Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. He is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement, inspired by the anti-Vietnam War protests happening in the country at the same time. Millions of Americans took to the streets to protest the damaging effects of 150 years of industrial development.
After the first Earth Day, several laws were enacted including the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act and the Endangered Species Act. The Environmental Protection Agency was also established in 1970, whose mission is to protect the environment and human health.
In 1990, Earth Day went global and more than 200 million people around the world took place in celebrations. The theme of 2019 is “protect our species,” which seeks to raise awareness about endangered species around the world. 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and is poised to be the biggest and most diverse celebration yet.
Why should we celebrate Earth Day?
The natural world that surrounds us, whether its rainforest or beaches, greatly effects human health. According to the US EPA, outdoor air pollution is associated with heart and asthma attacks, bronchitis, and premature mortality. Not only that, but clean water is essential to a healthy body, and without it, there wouldn’t be life. Climate change is another major health risk, from air pollution to extreme heat and drought that can cause respiratory health issues, cardiovascular health issues and much more.
As you can see, protecting the environment isn’t just about plants and animals. It’s also about your health and the future of everyone’s health. That’s why you should take this Earth Day seriously and get outdoors! If you suffer from seasonal discomfort, consider taking Allerfin to help you you’re your best. A simple Google search of “Earth Day” will yield countless events in your area and ways you can make a difference. But Earth Day shouldn’t be a once a year thing: it has to be every day! Here are six easy ways you can be more environmentally friendly.
- Use reusable water bottle and bags
According to Myequa, an estimated 38 million plastic bottles go to landfill each year in America alone. Not only that, but it takes 700 years for plastic bottles to dissolve. Skip plastic bottles and opt for a reusable bottle instead. Reusable water bottles are not only better for the environment, but also cheaper in the long run than continuously buying bottled water. The same goes for plastic bags – while some states have banned them, they are still a common sight at many grocery stores and shops. Bring your own bag and you’ll know it won’t end up in a landfill, or worse, the ocean.
- Reduce meat consumption
A diet rich in vegetables and whole grains is not only great for your health, it’s a huge benefit to the environment. Currently, the mass production of meat has detrimental effects on our planet, including deforestation and greenhouse gases. You don’t have to cut out meat entirely, but make the effort to eat vegetarian or vegan meals a few times a week. You should also look for sustainably produced meat at your local grocery store.
- Leave your car at home
Car pollution is one of the major causes of global warming. Considering there are over 200 million Americans who own a car, that’s a lot of greenhouse gases. Improve the planet’s health (and your health) by walking, riding a bike, carpooling or using public transportation. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “this reduces [your] fossil fuel use per person and helps us all become more energy efficient.”
- Volunteer at your local park or beach
As we stated earlier, type “Earth Day” into Google and you’ll get many search results for Earth Day events in your area. Get the kids involved and pick up trash at your local beach or park or plant a new tree in your backyard! Anything you can do will help.
- Go paperless
Instead of getting paper bills, flyers and catalogues in the mail, opt to go paperless. This helps cut down on deforestation, which is a huge environmental problem because trees protect our planet from dangerous carbon dioxide emissions. Who knows, maybe you can even convince your workplace to go green!
- Switch off electronics
Reduce your carbon footprint (and save on your monthly electricity bill) by switching off electronics like mobile phones, computers and kitchen appliances when not in use. You can also consider switching to clean energy options where available.