What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. This year marks the 46th year of of encouraging people across the world to be environmentally concerned.
The idea for a national day on environmental awareness was held in America is credited to the Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, who was then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Nelson was witnessing along many other citizen the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. This tragic event to Mother Nature paved the way to the green-oriented movements and communities.
According to Earth Day’s website “On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”
Earth Day 1970 achieved “a rare political alignment of getting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders”. The same year, the first Earth Day forced law makers to create the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day 1990 went global and mobilized 200 million people across 141 countries highlighting environmental issues.
Today, Earth Day is known as ‘the largest secular holiday in the world’. Each year, festivals, parades and rallies are held in at least 192 countries to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
More than two decades on, at least 192 countries mark Earth Day every year, including Britain, Canada, Ukraine, Spain, and the Philippines.
Here in the Philippines, the date has been officially proclaimed as Philippines’ Earth Day through Proclamation No. 1481 in 2008 by former President Gloria Arroyo.
Here in Davao: SM City Davao, together with People Collaborating for Environment and Economic Management (PCEEM), celebrated Earth Day by highlighting eco-friendly products and materials. SM Davao has been observing Earth Day through info campaigns and exhibits to educate their shoppers on simple manners to be more environmental aware.
“This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. Let’s take the momentum from the Paris Climate Summit and build on it.” For more info, visit Earthday.org.
Green Davao signed also up for this petition and hope that everybody will see the necessity of saving our earth. How to get involved? Read my article on “Happy Earth Day: six little habits that made a difference to me” or “How to get involved?”