You and I have been living on this planet for a limited number of years now. But our precious Earth itself is millions of years old, as you already know.
Today, April 22 is the day when you & I, including people around the world celebrate the planet with its own day as ‘Earth Day’.
I wasn’t aware of this day. It was only when I went online and went to today’s Wikipedia page that I came to know about it.
I don’t how much you know about Earth Day, but let me give you some pointers.
1. Earth Day is now observed and celebrated worldwide in more than 193 countries each year.
2. It was in 1970 that the first Earth Day was celebrated to highlight the importance of environmental protection.
3. The first Earth Day was celebrated by thousands of colleges, universities and schools across the United States.
4. Today in 2016, leaders from 160 countries will officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement to control global warming.
5. To mark the importance of this day, Google has designed five doodles. Sophie Diao, who designed this year’s Doodle said she chose to highlight Earth’s five major ecological areas: tundra, forest, grasslands,desert and coral reefs. Five animals have been profiled in this Doodle: polar bear, fox, elephant, tortoise and octopus.
6. One billion people across the world will be taking part in Earth Day activities this year.
7. Earth Day celebration has its own flag with the picture of Earth taken from a spacecraft.
8. People are observing the day today in many ways like tree planting; feeding bees; cleaning beaches; walking/cycling or taking public transport to work; recycling things; going paperless; carrying a reusable water bottle or buying local produce.
10. Interesting thing is there have been quite a few recent major discoveries about Earth since Earth Day 2015. New coral reef discovered, new species of ancient humans found and also that Unicorns and humans once coexisted! You can read all about it here in ‘7 things we’ve learned about Earth since the last Earth Day’.
Important thing is that indeed the Earth is suffering today from things like: melting ice sheets that threaten to raise sea water level, intensifying heat waves, vanishing rainforests, falling temperature records, dying elephants and bleached out coral.
But there are some positive things happening for the planet too.
1. 195 countries have now finally agreed today to fight pollution. Earlier years, there was just a lot of finger-pointing and blame game going on.
2. Solar energy is becoming cheaper and governments are really putting their best foot forward in encouraging their citizens to embrace it.
3. Companies are investing twice the amount in opting for clean energy since last year compared to coal and gas.
4. You must have seen electric cars on the road. Fact is they are getting popular now.
5. If you don’t know, China is the world’s biggest annual polluter of the Earth’s atmosphere. But, now, China has pledged to really bring down its carbon intensity 48% from 2005 levels by 2020. So, that’s a big commitment by the nation.
So, the takeaway today is: you and I continue to take regular actions that serve our dear and wonderful planet in some way.
You make the Earth happy, Earth will make you happy. 🙂