What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated every year on 22 April, designed to drive action on the environment and climate crisis around the world.
First held in 1970, Earth Day now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG and more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
What is Earth Day about?
Earth Day's mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Earth Day is all about mobilising the public to take action and it claims to have mobilised one billion people to take action over the future of the planet since its inception.
"As an individual, you yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change," the movement's website states.
"Every Earth Day can drive a year of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to create a new plan of action for our planet."
When was the first Earth Day?
The concept was proposed by peace activist John McConnell at a 1969 Unesco conference in San Francisco, and was originally planned to be on 21 March, the first day of spring.
A month later United States Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed a nationwide environmental teach-in on 22 April, an event which consumed McConnell’s plan.
It was named Earth Day, and its purpose grew, culminating in it becoming the largest single day protest in human history.
On Earth Day 2016, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on climate change, was signed by more than 120 countries, including the UK, United States and China.
What is this year’s theme?
The theme for this year's Earth Day is "Restore Our Earth" which focuses on natural processes, innovative thinking and emerging green technologies that can restore the world's ecosystems
Restore Our Earth encompasses goals and actions including reforestation, regenerative agriculture and sustainable food, plastic cleanups, climate literacy, and citizen science. From capturing carbon and supporting the health and resilience of communities, to advocating for compulsory, assessed climate education, we have the ability to make lasting changes.
How can you take part in Earth Day?
With the pandemic raging on, this year’s Earth Day will look a little different to previous years. Social distancing measures mean that many will be joining in the days activities from home.
Following on from an entirely virtual programme in 2020, a second Earth Day Live is going ahead this year. The event is running parallel to President Biden’s virtual climate summit with world leaders. The full programme for Earth Day live, which begins at 9am EST, can be viewed here.
What else can you do to help the planet?
At Ocean Refresh, we believe that every day should be earth day. Here are some great ways you can live more sustainably, including being more conscious about what you buy, switching to renewable energy, flying less and eating less meat, fish and dairy.