image courtesy:Quinebaug Valley Community College

Earth Day is an annual event marked across the world to show support for environmental protection.The event takes place around the world and it is described as the biggest secular holiday on the planet.

More than a billion people are expected to celebrate the day including environmental campaigners Leonardo di Caprio and Emma Watson.

Forty-seven years ago, on 22 April 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.

In the US and around the world, smog was becoming deadly and evidence was growing that pollution led to developmental delays in children. Biodiversity was in decline as a result of the heavy use of pesticides and other pollutants.

The global ecological awareness was growing, and the US Congress and President Nixon responded quickly. In July of the same year, they created the Environmental Protection Agency, and robust environmental laws such as the Clear Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, among many.

On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Agreement was signed by the United States, China,and some 120 other countries.This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, Peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations.

A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in recognition of his work.

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Earth Day is now a global event each year, and we believe that more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on the environmental issues that the world faces. In 2017, the March for Science occurs on Earth day (April 22, 2017) and is followed by the People’s Climate Mobilization (April 29, 2017).

The Earth Day Network — the nonprofit that organizes Earth Day events every year — has taken the lead on programming for the march. The ‘March for Science’ will celebrate the scientific method and advocate for using evidence in decision-making in all levels of government.

Thousands of people will descend on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and take to the streets in cities across the globe — in the name of science.

There are 518 official satellite marches in the United States and across the world, from Quezon City in the Philipines to Blantyre, Malawi. There are marches in all 50 US states.

Greenpeace Bangalore, India,have planned to organise an eventful day at a popular Mall, V R Mall, in Bangalore. With loads of activities focusing on the environment,climate change and global warming. Greenpeace have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action to change human behavior and provoke policy changes.

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Major tech giants have tried to lead the way in that effort to promote a cleaner, safer Earth

Apple is trying to be a symbol for clean, green technology. Ahead of Earth Day, the company released its Environment Responsibility Report, which argued for safer, greener technology. Notably, Apple plans to recycle metals bought from suppliers with those taken from old, used products for its iPhones in the future.

Apple also highlights that 96 percent of the electricity used at the company’s global facilities came from energy sources like solar, hydro and wind power and it uses 99 percent recycled paper for packaging its products.

Microsoft the entire week to reflect on where the planet is, where it’s heading, and how the Redmond giant is doing its part towards that greener goal.The Redmond giant has also partnered with Ecolab to apply cutting-edge technology to tackle the issue of water scarcity.

Microsoft is also helping develop smarter energy grids, help achieve optimal harvests, among other things across energy and agriculture.

The massive social media behemoth, Facebook,has also been actively pushing for renewable energy.Facebook’s most recently unveiled data centre, in Clonee, Ireland, is set to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Facebook attributes this in part to the availability of wind energy in the country. It puts it on track for achieving its goal of power 50 percent of its infrastructure with clean and renewable energy by the end of 2018.

Google has honoured this beautiful thought on Earth Day 2017 with their latest Google doodle.The search engine giant has demonstrated a beautiful story on this day which shows how a fox, a cat and a frog saved the planet and its beings.

The Google doodle highlights the use of bicycles over motor vehicles, renewable energy over the conventional sources and also gives us tips on saving power and thereby the planet. The Doodle also inspires people to eat less meat and shows the tiny animals trying to combat issues like pollution and coral bleaching.

Given the uneven landscape of political support for protecting our planet, Earth Day remains a critical point in time.

Not a day of remembrance but a day of action.

Forty-seven years after the first Earth Day, the jury is still out on whether we will take the actions that are necessary to save ourselves.

Education and action are the two most valuable steps we can take to protect our planet. Earth Day is the day to start.



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