What is Earth Day? Here's Everything You Need to Know

What is Earth Day? Here's Everything You Need to Know

 

Earth Day is a day of international recognition for environmental causes. Held every year on the 22nd April, it first started in 1970, and has been growing every year since.

Earth Day now has events in 193 countries, and is run by the Earth Day Network, which works all the year round to “solve climate change, to end plastic pollution, to protect endangered species, and to broaden, educate, and activate the environmental movement across the globe.”

 

The History of Earth Day

Originally, Earth Day was conceived to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Now, it is an environmental movement that organises events throughout the year, and especially in the lead up to Earth Day itself.

Earth day started as a grassroots movement in order to garner support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Some 20 million Americans protested on April 22nd 1970, with many colleges and universities organising rallies. As a result, not only was the EPA set up, but the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were all passed.

 

 

 

With Earth Day’s 50th anniversary coming up next year, it’s hard to believe that we are still protesting about the same things – litter pollution, protecting the environment, and a sustainable future.

Human apathy is the cause of this, and the Earth Day Network continues to ask people to wake up and acknowledge the damage that we are doing to our beautiful earth.

 

This Year’s Theme

 

The theme for Earth Day 2019 is Protect Our Species. This theme won’t be surprising to anyone who's even slightly interested in environmental matters. Over the past six months, the fate of our planet’s wildlife has had even more publicity than usual.

Thanks to some hard-hitting journalism from Sir David Attenborough, in his Our Planet series for Netflix, we have seen the devastating effects that climate change is having on our environment.  

The strong words and determination of 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg is also having an impact. Calling on politicians to “panic” before it’s too late for many of our species, and eventually, for us as well.

Nearly 50 years after the Endangered Species Act, many of our animals are still on the brink of extinction because of our impact on their environment.

This theme follows on from 2018’s End Plastic Pollution. Plastic pollution is having a massive impact on our ocean life, and so harming many already endangered species. 2019 widens this cause, looking not only at our seas, but all of the creatures that humankind has endangered.

One of these is the humble honey bee, without which many of our plants and crops would no longer produce fruit. The Earth Day Network have put together an interesting yet scary fact sheet on the current wave of extinction.

 

earth day 2019 

 

Earth Day Goals

 

The Earth Day Network has set out a number of goals for this years Protect our Species campaign. They are as follows:

 

  • Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.

 

  •  Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.

 

  • Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.

 

  • Encourage individual actions such as adopting a plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.

 

Much of this is related to our environmental literacy; educating the general public about what is happening to our precious animals, what they can do to help the environmental cause, and what we can encourage our politicians to do as well.

 

What Happens on Earth Day?

 

One of the main events is the Earth Day 2019 Cleanup. Across the world, volunteers are invited to get involved and clean up their parks, beaches, and urban landscapes.

This Cleanup will not only help our native flora and fauna, it will also show just how much rubbish we throw away, and the potential damage that this can inflict.

With approximately 25 Cleanup locations in each city, and over 300 total Cleanups, the Earth Day 2019 Cleanup is set to be the biggest yet.

Participants are encouraged to take pictures of their successes, sharing them on social media far and wide so that everyone can not only see the impact that we are having on our planet, but also realise the massive difference that just a few hours of cleaning can achieve.

This event is already set to be even bigger in 2020 with the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. The Great Global Cleanup will be aimed at spreading the environmental volunteering message as far across the globe as possible, getting more countries involved in it than ever before

 

earth day 2019

 

How to Get Involved

 

There are events for Earth Day happening all over the country, particularly in London where there is a whole week of events taking place at Somerset House. These include a walk for earth, guided mediation, as well as art installations and music.

Even Nasa has got involved, asking people from around the world to post close-up pictures of nature and to share them with the world. This is to show as many people as possible just how amazing our Earth can be.

“Use the hashtag #PictureEarth and upload the photo on April 22. Be sure to include the location where the photo was taken in the text of your social media post.”

If you’re not going to any events, there are still many ways that you can show your own individual support for Earth Day 2019.

 

  • Plant a tree. The Earth Day Network is committed to reforestation, so plant a tree to do your bit to bring about the return of our green spaces.

 

  • Ditch the car. Make Earth Day the day that you take the bus or cycle everywhere you go. This lowers your carbon emissions and you might learn just how easy it is to get around.

 

  • Have a plastic free day. Have you ever had a day where you didn’t throw away a plastic wrapper? By plastic free, we mean single-use plastic and plastic shopping bags. You’ll find it more of a challenge than you think, as so much of our food is wrapped in the stuff. No wonder it ends up in our oceans.

 

  • Go vegan. If you eat animal products, consider avoiding them for Earth Day - and beyond! Animal agriculture is one of the biggest causes of CO2, and great swaths of land have been destroyed to grow crops to feed all of the animals that eventually end up in our supermarkets.

 

Earth Day Every Day

 

One thing that the Earth Day Network promote is the fact that it isn’t just one day.

If we truly want to protect our endangered species, more needs to happen on a continual basis. Big changes need to take place such as new laws and policies on overfishing, deforestation, and plastic pollution. But we can all do our bit to help. The more the people demand change, and show that they want change, the more the government will be forced to listen to us.

Just like Earth Day, there are certain things that you can do to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life every day.

 

No More Plastic

 

You thought that giving it up for just one day was hard? Well how about every day?

We are over-reliant on single-use plastic for everything, and this reliance means trouble for our environment. Take canvas bags to the supermarket and store your food in reusable containers. Making small changes can have a big impact.

 

Recycle

 

It seems simple, right? But maybe doing the recycling is a chore, and especially with electronic items, sometimes its easier to just throw them in the skip. Yet you’ll be surprised at what can be recycled.

There’s never any need to just dump items you don’t want any more. With clothes, consider charity shops. If they’re in good condition, someone else will want to buy them.

 

Buy Sustainably

 

Thinking about the items that you buy can help you to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle. Knowing exactly where your clothes and accessories come from is a major part of this. Ditching slow fashion, and buying clothes that are sustainably made and long-lasting, can lessen the impact that current fashion trends are having on our environment.

At LaBante London, we are committed to helping the environment by using 25 recycled plastic bottles in each of our handbags. Landfills occupy 55% of our planet, which is why we only use recycled goods in our handbags. Already, we have saved over 10 million plastic bottles from heading to landfill.

Our bags and wallets are 100% vegan and we are a PETA-approved brand. We are totally committed to our fashion being cruelty free.

Our handbags are made in a sustainable way, with all of our workers paid a fair wage. We also have a zero waste packaging system, meaning that all of our products are packaged using recycled materials.

We also give 10% of LaBante’s profits goes to charitable causes, which is our way of paying it forward.

LaBante London wishes good luck to everyone taking part in Earth Day 2019!