Earth Day 2024: Know the Unveiling the Power of Our Earth

Earth Day 2024: Know the Unveiling the Power of Our Earth

Earth Day 2024: Know the Unveiling the Power of Our Earth

The purpose of this year’s Earth Day 2024 topic, “Planet vs. Plastics,” is to promote public awareness about the negative effects of plastic pollution on human and environmental health.

Earth Day is marked annually on April 22 as a means of demonstrating support for environmental preservation. Since its founding on April 22, 1970, EARTHDAY.ORG has arranged a worldwide range of events for 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. This year’s official theme is “Planet vs. Plastics.” Earth Day will celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2025.

Peace activist John McConnell proposed March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, as the date for a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace during a 1969 UNESCO summit in San Francisco. Later on, McConnell and Secretary General U Thant formally announced this day of nature’s equipoise at the UN by a proclamation. US Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea of a nationwide teach-in on environmental issues one month later, on April 22, 1970. He employed a young activist named Denis Hayes as the National Coordinator. The occasion was named “Earth Day” by Nelson and Hayes.

Denis and his group decided to include the entire nation in the initial teach-in idea. With over 20 million attendees, the first Earth Day rally remains the largest single-day protest in human history. Not focusing on the environment, but nonetheless important partners have a big impact. For example, the principal external financial and organizational supporter of the first Earth Day was the United Auto Workers (UAW), under the leadership of labor militant Walter Reuther.

Nelson’s services were eventually recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The inaugural Earth Day was centered on the United States. The first national coordinator, Denis Hayes, started it in 1970 and took it global in 1990, organizing events in 141 nations. The United States, the United Kingdom, China, and 120 other nations signed the historic Paris Agreement on Earth Day in 2016. In order for the historic draft climate protection agreement approved by the 195 countries gathered in Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference to become operative, this signing fulfilled a crucial prerequisite.

Many communities took part in Earth Day Week, a week-long celebration of global environmental challenges. Over 100 million people worldwide celebrated Earth Day 2020, the 50th anniversary, in what is being dubbed the largest online mass movement in history. Every year on June 5, World Environment Day is a separate but connected event organized by the United Nations.

1969 Oil Spill in Santa Barbara

On January 28, 1969, six miles (10 kilometers) off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, Union Oil’s Platform A blew out. Over 3 million US gallons (2.5 million imperial gallons; 11 million liters) of oil spilled, killing over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. In response to this disaster, environmental activists implemented environmental regulations, celebrated Earth Day, and promoted environmental education. Marc McGinnes, Selma Rubin, and Bud Bottoms, the creator of Get Oil Out, were among those who supported Earth Day since they were directly affected by the calamity.

According to Denis Hayes, the original organizer of Earth Day, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was inspired to start the holiday after seeing an oil slick reaching 800 square miles (2,100 km2) in the Santa Barbara Channel from an airplane.

1970’s Earth Day

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin planted the seeds that later grew into the first Earth Day celebration. Nelson, an ardent environmentalist and former two-term governor of Wisconsin, has long sought ways to raise environmental awareness in politics. Nelson believed that the time was right for an environmental initiative because of the widespread attention given to Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, the iconic 1968 Earthrise NASA photograph of the Earth from the Moon, and the extensive news coverage of the Santa Barbara oil spill and the Cuyahoga River fire in early 1969.

Nelson became convinced that environmental teach-ins on college campuses could be the perfect platform after speaking with his staff and well-known Democratic operative Fred Dutton, who had run Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

Hundreds of college campuses had hosted teach-ins to discuss the Vietnam War. Generally speaking, they represented the difference between those who saw Vietnam as a counterweight against communism and those who saw the war as the most recent phase of a nationalist, anti-colonialist campaign by Vietnamese people who had previously fought China, France, Japan, France once more, and now the United States. These discussions brought the war’s arguments to the public’s attention and inspired a new round of student activists.

In order to oversee the campaign, Nelson persuaded public interest attorney Anthony Roisman to form a nonprofit organization called Environmental Teach-In, Inc. and assemble a small board of directors. In order to guarantee the board’s bipartisanship and bicamerality, Obama requested Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to serve as co-chair.

On September 20, 1969, Senator Nelson made his plans for a “environmental teach-In” public during a little-known address at the University of Washington. “I firmly believe that the next generation of Americans can demonstrate the same concern for the environment as they did when they redirected the country’s focus from the Vietnam War and civil rights.” Because of this, I’m going to make sure that there is a teach-in held across the country.

In numerous remarks thereafter, Senator Nelson continued to support teach-ins. A reporter from the New York Times attended a discussion given at Airlie House in November. The front-page story that resulted was revolutionary. Nationwide inquiries started flooding Nelson’s Senate office with letters. Harvard graduate student Denis Hayes became interested in the article. Sen. Nelson’s visit was supposed to last 10 minutes, but it ended up taking two hours due to Hayes’ trip to Washington, D.C. After receiving the charter to organize Boston, Hayes returned to Harvard. After a few days of reference checks, he received an invitation to leave Harvard and become executive director of the national campaign.

Hayes recommended that instead of designating persons as directors, they be labeled coordinators due to the non-hierarchical nature of the times. After assuming the role of national coordinator, he promptly employed a number of regional coordinators, a coordinator for the media, a coordinator for K–12, a coordinator for volunteers, etc. At its height, the national office employed over 100 regular volunteers in addition to a small number of paid employees who made a flat $375 per month (approximately $3,116 in 2023).

However, as the brilliant regional coordinators dispersed across the country, they immediately encountered two challenges. First and foremost, the concept of “teach-ins” had become obsolete by 1970. Furthermore, teach-ins typically included conversations, and none promoted pollution. More concerning, renowned college students actively participated in civil rights and anti-war protests. Their propensity was to perceive everything around them as distracting.

Earth Day, 1980

Significant environmental laws were passed during the 1970s, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Superfund, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act. It had witnessed the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the outlawing of lead in gasoline and DDT. President Jimmy Carter served.

Mike McCabe and Byron Kennard spearheaded the 1980 Earth Day campaign, and the atmosphere was joyous and jubilant. The main event took place in Lafayette Park, D.C., which is located across the street from the White House. It was a festival.

Earth Day, 1990–1999

The 1990 Earth Day-themed single “Tomorrow’s World” by Warner Bros. Records was written by Kix Brooks (who would go on to form half of Brooks & Dunn) and Pam Tillis. The vocalists for the song included Highway 101, Shelby Lynne, Johnny Rodriguez, Dan Seals, Les Taylor, Pam Tillis, Mac Wiseman, Kevin Welch, Butch Baker, Shane Barmby, Billy Hill, Suzy Bogguss, Kix Brooks, T. Graham Brown, The Burch Sisters, Holly Dunn, Foster & Lloyd, Vince Gill, William Lee Golden, and Highway 101. On the May 5, 1990 Hot Country Songs list, it peaked at number 74.

2000’s Earth Day

Hayes opted to spearhead another campaign as the year 2000 approached, this time focusing on renewable energy and tackling global warming. The global grassroots effort of Earth Day 1990 was combined with the big-picture zeal of the first Earth Day on April 22, 2000. With the internet, Earth Day 2000 could connect campaigners all over the world. By April 22, a record 184 countries and hundreds of millions of people had been reached thanks to the efforts of 5,000 environmental groups throughout the world. Events differed: for example, a network of talking drums traveled from one African village to another, while crowds of people flocked to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., USA.

Earth Day in 2001-2009

In 2001, Google released their first Earth Day doodle.

2003’s Earth Day

The Water for Life Campaign was the subject for Earth Day in 2003. This year, the Earth Day Network launched the “What’s in Your Water?” water quality initiative. Water seminars, exhibitions, and performances were held in Togo, Egypt, the Cook Islands, Jordan, Palestine, Japan, Venezuela, Slovenia, Nigeria, and Canada, among other continents. Water-related resources include posters, teacher manuals, educational curriculum, and water testing kits.

2004’s Earth Day: In order to register hundreds of thousands of voters for Earth Day in 2004, the Earth Day Network and its supporters focused on voter registration in the United States. Significant tree-planting events were also held.

2005’s Earth Day: Healthy Environments for Children was the 2005 Earth Day theme.

2006’s Earth Day: The 2006 Earth Day theme was faith and science. Earth Day arrived in Europe in 2006, with celebrations and speeches held in the vast majority of EU member states. One of the most significant events was the “Festival on Climate Change” in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The theme was “How to Break Away from Oil Dependence,” and attendees included Denis Hayes, the founder of Earth Day, as well as members of the Dutch and European parliaments, charitable groups, local government officials, and media representatives.

Earth Day in 2007: Thousands of Earth Day events were held throughout the world, including water projects, energy efficiency seminars, protests, letter-writing campaigns, environmental and civic education trainings for grades K-12, urban and rural cleanups, and much more. One of the primary objectives of these gatherings was to foster a more inclusive and varied environmental movement.

2008’s Earth Day: On Earth Day 2008, millions of people throughout the world joined the Call for Climate Action. The initiative in the United States encouraged people to contact Congress one million times to persuade them to pass climate change legislation. Since the Earth Day on Campus initiative, several Earth Day events have taken place all around the world.

2009’s Earth Day: The 2009 National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions brought together religious organizations, civic associations, and college campuses from all throughout the United States. Members of Congress participated in this event by speaking at high school and college campuses in their districts via video conference.

2010’s 40th anniversary of Earth Day

Over a billion people worldwide participated in Earth Day activities to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
By the end of 2010, Earth Day Network and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Avatar Home Tree Initiative will have partnered to plant one million trees across 15 nations.

Earth Day Network, in collaboration with the Peace Corps, organized recycling seminars, tree plantings, village clean-ups, and environmental and civic education programs in rural parts of Ukraine, the Philippines, Georgia, Albania, and Kolkata, India, with the help of local volunteers. Additionally, the Earth Day Network opened a satellite office in Kolkata, India, in 2010.

The government of Morocco unveiled a novel National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development as part of a statewide celebration of the country’s 40th anniversary. This pledge, the first of its kind in Africa and the Arab world, will guide the creation of new environmental laws in the nation. Additionally, the Moroccan Kingdom promised to plant a million trees.

Earth Day 2011-2020

Activities included the first-ever Earth Day celebration in Tunis City, an environmental discussion for local political leaders, and activities for elementary schools across Iraq. Over 1.1 million trees were planted by Earth Day Network in 17 of the most severely deforested countries in the world. More than 100 million Billion Acts of Green were registered worldwide.

Earth Day, 2012: On Earth Day 2012, Earth Day Network announced that a Billion Acts of Green had been accomplished during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio. Claimed to be the largest environmental service campaign in the world, A Billion Acts of Green encourages and rewards both small individual actions and bigger organizational activities that contribute to the objective of measurable carbon emissions reduction and sustainability support.

2013’s Earth Day: The purpose of the 2013 Earth Day was to unite people worldwide in a forceful call to action under the subject The Face of Climate Change, while also personalizing the enormous issue that climate change faces. In order to demonstrate that climate change affects actual people, animals, and places everywhere and is not just a theoretical issue for our leaders, EDN gathered photos submitted under the hashtag #faceofclimate and created a collage that was shown at hundreds of events worldwide, including government buildings, parks, and schools.

2014’s Earth Day: With Earth Day 2014 and the five-year countdown to Earth Day 2020, the 50th anniversary, in mind, the aim was to profoundly personalize the enormous concerns facing global climate change. It was a chance to mobilize people all across the world around a single cause and demand action.

Green Cities was the 2014 Earth Day theme. In an effort to assist cities all around the world in becoming more sustainable and lowering their carbon footprint, Earth Day Network started the Green Cities initiative in the fall of 2013. concentrated on three main areas: transportation, energy, and structures

Earth Day, 2015: In honor of Earth Day’s 45th anniversary, “It’s Our Turn to Lead” was the global theme for 2015. Earth Day that year was part of the continuous march towards Paris for the December UNFCCC COP 21 climate negotiations. This summit is likely to result in a legally enforceable climate change treaty, making it a critical year for the environmental movement. The campaigns of Earth Day Network (EDN) centered on promoting environmental advocacy and enhancing climate education and communication.

Earth Day, 2016: Trees for Earth was the 2016 Earth Day theme. Significant political commitments were made by Morocco, Vietnam, India, and the Caribbean. EarthDay.org and the 2013-founded Black Lives Matter organization participated in community panels together. On Earth Day 2016, almost 700 million people from the community, organizations, and school community participated. In India, more than 36 million trees were planted. The Chinese online encyclopedia Baidu Baike accepted “Earth Day Network” as an entry.

2017’s Earth Day: The Earth Day Network introduced the 2020 worldwide environmental and climate literacy target for Earth Day 2017. EDN envisioned a world where people understand climate change and are cognizant of the unprecedented threat it poses to the earth. The driving force behind the advancement of environmental and climate laws and regulations, the creation of green voters, and the acceleration of green jobs and technologies is environmental and climate literacy.
In light of this, environmental and climate education is the 2017 Earth Day theme.

2018 Earth Day: The goal of the 2018 Earth Day theme, End Plastic Pollution, was to create a society of informed people who are aware of the negative effects that plastic use has on the environment, the climate, and human health. Customers estimated how much throwaway plastic they used annually and made plans to cut back on trash by using an online Plastics Pollution Calculator. Customers were also given information about how to lessen their plastic footprint through an Action Toolkit and Plastic Pollution Primer.

2019’s Earth Day: The theme for Earth Day 2019 was “Protect Our Species.” Events and initiatives are used in this campaign to disseminate knowledge about the causes and effects of increasing species extinctions.

2020 Earth Day: The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is scheduled for 2020. The celebrations included events such as the Great Global Cleanup, citizen science, advocacy, education, and art. The subject for Earth Day 2020 was “climate action”. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, several scheduled activities were switched online.

2021’s Earth Day – 2023

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaks at the Climate Leaders Summit
The Great Global CleanUp, Food and Environment, Climate Literacy, the Canopy Project, and the Global Earth Challenge are the five main initiatives that are part of the Earth Day 2021 theme, Restore Our Earth. Earthday.org, in collaboration with main organizers Education International, Hip Hop Caucus, and Earth Uprising, arranged three distinct climate action summits throughout the week of Earth Day. The summits focused on environmental justice, climate literacy, and youth-led climate-related concerns. Additionally, on April 22, 2021, Earthday.org hosted the second-annual Earth Day Live broadcast, which included influential people, world leaders, and activists.

2022’s Earth Day: The Great Global Cleanup, Sustainable Fashion, Climate and Environmental Literacy, Canopy Project, Food and Environment, and the Global Earth Challenge are the five main programs that are part of the Earth Day 2022 theme, “Invest in Our Planet.” More than one billion people took part in Earth Day 2022, according to Earthday.org, which also stated that the theme of “Invest in our Planet” will continue in 2023.

Earth Day 2023: Seaside, Oregon Beach Cleanup “Invest In Our Planet” was the official theme for 2023. A set of photos of Earth shot from different solar system far space distances was released on Earth Day in 2023.

2024’s Earth Day

Earthday.org 2024’s theme is Planet vs Plastics, and in honor of this occasion, the organization has asked for a 60% worldwide reduction in plastic manufacturing by 2040.

Earthday.org published the paper Babies vs. Plastics in November 2023 to raise public awareness of the health risk that microplastics provide. The publication included some of the most recent scientific research on the topic. An opinion piece regarding the study that focused on how exposure to microplastics is mostly harming children in the Global South was published in the Guardian newspaper.

Importance of April 22

Nelson selected the date to encourage as many people as possible to participate in what he saw as a “environmental teach-in” on college campuses. Since the week of April 19–25 did not coincide with spring break or examinations, he concluded that it was the best option. Not only was it late enough in spring to enjoy pleasant weather, but it also avoided clashing with religious holidays like Passover or Easter. He decided on Wednesday, April 22, because there would be less competition from other midweek activities and more students in class. Additionally, the day fell on the anniversary of renowned conservationist John Muir’s birth.

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