Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. This year we celebrate the 42nd edition of Earth Day. The aim of the celebrations this year is to make people understand the importance of saving the Earth.
The First Earth Day:
Senator Gaylord Nelson of the United States founded Earth Day, celebrating it for the first time on April 22, 1970 in the United States. Across the United States, 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day.
Earth Day International:
On March 21, 1971, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General U Thant made Earth Day an international celebration. He spoke about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City, USA. The United Nations Earth Day ceremony continues each year on the day of the vernal equinox (March 20 or 21), with the ringing of the UN Peace Bell at the very moment of the equinox.
A Turnout of 200 Million!
In 1990, the first official International Earth Day was celebrated. About 200 million people from 141 nations took part in a celebration of environmental conservation. In many countries, the global event reminded national leaders how important protecting the Earth is to people.
Why Celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day reminds us that all of us share the same planet. Sharing the Earth means taking responsibility for what we use and using it wisely. It is a day to think of the environmental challenges we face and how to solve them. Protecting the Earth is every person�s and every country's responsibility.
A Rally in Delhi, 2011
In 2011, approximately 1,200 children came together at a rally during which they carried signs with slogans and messages about preserving nature. The children also performed skits about the environment and conducted a Children's Bicycle Rally that promoted nonpolluting forms of transportation.
Earth Day this Year
Earth Day traditions have come a long way. Today, close to 175 nations with billions of people participate in the celebrations by expressing their gratitude for the planet and trying to improve awareness of environmental issues. This year many programmes are being undertaken to promote environment-friendly activities such as recycling, reduction of pollution, saving energy and making cities greener. Many organisations are also conducting nature trails or simple forest walk to make people understand the value of nature. That apart, students across the globe will engage in various activities such as collecting personal act-of-green pledges, leading community clean-ups and organising major Earth Day events.
Ways to Spend Earth Day in Your City:
- Take your family on a trip to a nearby hill, cave or beach. This will help you experience nature first-hand.
- Plant a sapling in your home, building compound or school garden.
- Teach people around you how to be more eco-friendly.
- Reduce the amount of plastic used in your home.
- Take an oath to use more eco-friendly products and adopt eco-friendly habits.
- Recycle and reuse products.
Use these slogans to make banners and distribute them:
- Learn to recycle and use your bicycle!
- The Earth is fine, it is the people that are in trouble!
- Go green or I'll scream!
For more information about Earth Day 2012 and the various international campaigns organised around it, log on to www.earthday.org/2012