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If you like nature, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Earth Day this month. But you might be wondering, why all the hype? I mean, what’s the big deal about this “holiday?”
The thing is, Earth Day isn’t just a Hallmark holiday. In fact, it was originally established as a day of protest.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s there was a string of toxic environmental disasters — the result of years of abuse by industrial factories. These were incidents of dense city smog, deadly oil spills, and even river fires — where the water was so polluted that the surface went up in flames.1
All of this contributed to a growing awareness around environmental issues. But although more and more people were joining the conversation, nothing changed.
Finally, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day when people could rally together. It would be a show of protest to demand the government take action and impose restrictions on industry giants.
It was Senator Gaylord Nelson who took the idea and made it real.
Today, Earth Day has brought incredible awareness to environmental issues, reaching more than one billion people each year.2
So if you’re ready to get in on all the action, here is your full guide to Earth Day 2022.
Starting in the early 2000’s, Earth Day added a theme for each year. The theme helps focus the conversation so each April isn’t exactly the same.
This year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.”
On the surface, it might sound like they just want us to open our wallets, but that’s not really what investing is about.
The thing about investing is that you don’t see immediate results. You put a little in, then a little more, and at first it doesn’t seem to be growing. But one day in the future, that small investment begins to grow — and it grows exponentially.
When you ride your bike to work instead of driving, you don’t suddenly see clear skies.
And when you refill your water bottle, it doesn’t remove the plastic that’s already there.
And it may seem like picking up one piece of trash doesn’t put a dent in your city’s litter.
But every step we take to invest in our sustainable future — it all adds up. The more we take these small actions, the more it becomes the norm in our community. Together it builds a foundation so strong that the growth becomes exponential.
If we all stopped using single-use plastic, we could clean up the oceans. If we all picked up one piece of trash every single day, there would be no more litter.
Think of every sustainable action you take — each one is an investment. Keep working towards a sustainable future, keep sharing and talking about those lifestyle choices with your friends and family, and we will make a difference.
Part of the fun of Earth Day is taking intentional time to appreciate nature. But you don’t have to chuck your phone in the ocean or hike up a mountain to do so. There are hundreds of wonderful ways to honor Earth Day for every lifestyle.
As you can see, there are a ton of ways you can spend today celebrating Earth Day, but keep in mind, the real intent is to encourage awareness of environmental issues.
To stay in the spirit of the original Earth Day, consider educating your friends and family about the environmental issues that are most important to you. Or share pieces of your own journey towards a sustainable lifestyle!
Earth Day is about awareness, and part of the reason it works is the momentum of massive amounts of people — of global participation.
The thing is, in your own life you can save one plastic bottle in a day or maybe one gallon of gas — but when you spread awareness and educate others, you can have an impact on an infinite number of people.
Try talking to your neighbors and family about recycling. Set up carpool buddies at work. Encourage your friends to bring their own bottle to the gym.
Through your influence, other people may start refusing straws, picking up litter, and carrying a reusable water bottle. And as they do so, they may influence their friends. You become the catalyst for a domino effect of sustainable actions, and suddenly you could be the driving cause that is saving hundreds of plastic bottles a day, hundreds of gallons of gas.
So join the conversation.
Not sure what to say? Start by sharing this blog!
And don’t forget to tag us in your Earth Day celebrations @Cloud.Paper