As the climate change crisis worsens, each Earth Day becomes more imperative in the fight against global warming. The annual event invites people from across the world to take part in eco-friendly activities to raise awareness and protect the environment.
Global lockdowns saw a substantial dip in harmful emissions released into the atmosphere. Yet, studies show that CO₂ emissions are now higher than they were before the pandemic. Despite plans for a global green recovery, a broad range of environmental issues have prevailed.
As Covid-19 restrictions continue in many countries, Earth Day organisers have had to move plans online. As well as three days of online workshops, summits and virtual activities, local councils are working hard to continue with in person projects under Covid-19 restrictions.
So, what is the story behind Earth Day? And how can you get involved this year?
When and why did Earth Day begin?
Earth Day has been celebrated annually since it began in 1970. After witnessing an oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, US Senator Gaylord Nelson decided that he wanted to champion environmental issues and sustainability. The first Earth Day saw 20 million US citizens take to the streets to show their support. At the time, this equated to 10% of the country’s population.
Every year the campaign continues to grow in both events and supporters. The day now serves as a yearly reminder of how important conserving our environment is.
What is this year’s theme?
This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Restore Our Earth’. National lockdowns have meant that people have had time to reflect on the way we have treated the Earth in recent years. And with a lack of human contact, many places around the world have begun to heal themselves in some way.
With the absence of humans and man-made technology, the Earth and its elements began to appear in places we forgot existed. Global air quality improved, Venice’s canals became crystal clear and wild pigs roamed the streets of Paris. Witnessing these changes from the confinement of our homes was an eye-opening experience for many people.
To truly restore our Earth, there must be a much greater focus on green initiatives and renewable energy. While Covid-19 has caused chaos across the world, we are able to champion some positives if we recover greenly.
How can you get involved?
While this year’s Earth Day will look a little different to the past, there are still many ways you can get involved. There are thousands of Earth Day events for people to enjoy online, from virtual 5k races to educational webinars. Local events are also taking place, including big litter clean-ups and group tree planting.
Each year, communities around the world come together to try and heal some of the harm previously caused to the planet. On Earth Day 2011, citizens in Afghanistan planted 28 million trees as a part of the ‘Plant Trees Not Bombs’ campaign. And in 2012 over 100,000 people rode their bikes to work in China to reduce CO₂ emissions.
How can you continue to help protect the Earth?
While Earth Day is technically only one day, a focus should be on environmental issues at all times. Understanding how we can help to protect the Earth starts with educating ourselves.
Become more conscious of what you consume. Understanding where it comes from and what has gone into it, can make a huge impact on how you live day-to-day. In turn, lessening your impact on the environment. Switching to energy saving appliances, shopping local and using waste free products are just some of the every day ways you can help to protect the earth.
How can Monarch help?
To become as sustainable as possible, we must first acknowledge our harmful habits. Waste water and inefficiency can have detrimental effects on both the environment and public health in the long term.
At Monarch, we aim to guide all our clients towards sustainability. Our team of energy specialists can identify where your business uses the most energy, and where it’s being wasted. We can provide sustainable solutions that will help reduce utility costs as well as harmful emissions.
Monarch is committed to the UK’s green recovery, and we work tirelessly to help organisations stay ahead of the curve. Our team of carbon specialists can help organisations navigate the path to net zero, simplifying complex carbon reporting all the way to facilitating onsite generation and carbon offsets.
Get in touch today to hear how we can help you start your journey to a greener future.