By Rachel Roberts
This year marks the 45th Earth Day celebration; so take a bit of time from your day to think about what you can do to improve the environment we live in and live more sustainability. Attend an Earth Day event, plant a tree, walk to work, or go vegetarian for a day.
Check out the Earth Day Summit, the free 9-hour virtual Earth Day event that we’re co-producing with the Shift Network. This year’s Summit focuses on the deeper, underlying aspects of our personal and collective evolution that can bring about the critical changes needed for the earth, for humanity, and for all life on the planet.
Speakers for this year’s Summit include Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr., a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Chickasaw Nation, and Barbara Marx Hubbard, a visionary and author of The Mother of Invention, with our very own Vinit Allen, founder of the Sustainable World Coalition, hosting the event.
Founded in 1970, Earth Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues. Celebrated every April 22, this global holiday is sometimes turned into Earth Week, equipped with seven full days dedicated to educating the public and raising awareness regarding a number of current environmental problems.
Created by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was created as a way to bring environmental issues onto the national agenda and to the forefront of American politics. In December 1970, the same year as the very first Earth Day, Congress created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address the United States’ environmental problems.
Nelson’s primary goal in planning Earth Day was to “show the political leadership of the Nation that there was a broad and deep support for the environmental movement”— a support that is still echoed across the nation today.
Since it was first founded in 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown throughout the world. According to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a non-profit organization responsible for the coordination of Earth Day activities, in 1990, Earth Day was celebrated in over 140 nations, with over 200 million people participating.
This year, the EDN estimates that more than 1 billion people from 192 countries are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”
What Senator Nelson first hoped would spread to at least 20 college campuses has now spread across the nation and the world. Earth Day demonstrations are now some of the largest public demonstrations in the history of the United States.
By coming together to celebrate the Earth, hopefully we can remind those holding political offices what’s important to us and the planet we all live on.