Today is Earth Day 2022. Can you believe it’s now more than 50 years since Earth Day was launched back in 1970?! Back then, 20 million people got together in support of environmental action; today, 1 billion people network in the name of Earth Day 2022 to promote positive action for our planet.
History of Earth Day
The very first Earth Day took place in 1970. At that time, industry was considerably dirtier than it is today, with factories and roads belching out vast quantities of pollution without fear of reprisals. In fact, back then, we were only just coming to understand the long-term impacts of our rapid industrial growth. Awareness had initially been raised by the 1962 publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, which introduced to many the impact of pollution on public health, living organisms and our environment at large.
Senator Gaylord Wilson, the junior senator for Wisconsin had been concerned for some time about environmental deterioration in the USA. Inspired by the student protests during the Vietnam War and further motivated by witnessing a large-scale oil spill in 1969, he organised, along with Senator Pete McClusky and the young activist Denis Hayes, a mass teach-in on college campuses, designed to raise awareness and mobilise the student body. A national staff of a mere 85 people worked on publicising the event, its name was changed to Earth Day and 20 million Americans – a staggering 10% of the overall US population – took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to protest the impact of 150 years of rapid and vast industrialisation.
From the Earth Day website: “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first of their kind environmental laws…Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act. A year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act and soon after the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction“.
The theme of Earth Day 2022
The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest In Your Planet” and aims to increase the adoption of sustainable practices to protect the resources we have and drive down the rate of global warming. The objective is to seed change in the arenas of business and politics, focusing on engaging the global community to accelerate the transition towards an equitable, prosperous and green economy for all.
What Can I Do to Contribute to Earth Day 2022?
Here’s ten suggestions from us. We can all make a difference because we’re all part of this!
- Fill your raised beds with plants loved by pollinators to support biodiversity in your garden.
- Reuse something and preserve the limited resources we have.
- Litter-pick a local beauty spot to protect the environment and wildlife.
- Take part in No Mow May and allow the wildflowers in your lawn to grow and support pollinating insects.
- Save your shrub and tree clippings and pile them up in a sheltered corner to make a hedgehog hide.
- Move towards making your household zero-waste by switching to reusable packaging or ditching cleaning wipes.
- Buy produce loose and unwrapped, rather than pre-packaged to reduce the amount of plastic pollution.
- Use your local Park & Ride scheme instead of contributing to inner-city pollution.
- Volunteer for a local conservation or tree-planting project.
- Learn more – take the time to read an article, watch a video or visit the Earth Day website.
- (Bonus!) Spread the word about Earth Day 2022. Share this blog, or a link to the Earth Day website.