Updated May 2nd, 2024 at 12:49 IST

Earth Day 2024: History, Significance, Theme, Celebrations

Earth Day traces its roots back to April 22, 1970, when millions of people across the United States mobilised to protest environmental degradation .

Earth Day | Image:Freepik
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Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22nd, is a global event dedicated to raising awareness and inspiring action for environmental protection. As we celebrate Earth Day 2024, it's an opportune moment to know about its history, understand its significance, celebrate the progress made in promoting sustainability and educate ourselves about what more needs to be done for conservation.

History of Earth Day

Earth Day traces its roots back to April 22, 1970, when millions of people across the United States mobilised to protest environmental degradation and advocate for greater environmental protections. This historic event, led by Senator Gaylord Nelson, sparked a wave of activism that culminated in the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of landmark environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

 

Earth Day | Image: Freepik

Significance of Earth Day

Earth Day serves as a reminder of the importance of environmental stewardship and the interconnectedness of human health and the health of the planet. It provides an opportunity for individuals, communities, and governments to come together to address pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change, deforestation, pollution, and biodiversity loss. Earth Day also highlights the need for collective action and encourages individuals to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives.

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Theme of Earth Day 2024

According to the website of Earth Day, the focus this year is on reducing plastic, with the theme  Planet vs. Plastics. A statement on the website reads, “For Earth Day 2024 on April 22nd, EARTHDAY.ORG is unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040.”

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Earth Day | Image: Freepik

Celebration of Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated in various ways around the world, with events ranging from community cleanups and tree plantings to educational workshops and environmental advocacy campaigns. In 2024, Earth Day celebrations take on added significance. From virtual gatherings and online activism to local initiatives and green initiatives, there are countless ways to participate and make a positive impact. The celebrations will be centered around this year’s theme. The website states, “Our theme, Planet vs. Plastics, calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, rapidly phase out all single use plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, and demand an end to fast fashion”.

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Published April 22nd, 2024 at 08:24 IST