This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and due to the global lockdown measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, will also be the first-ever Digital Earth Day!
World Earth Day takes place on April 22 each year and inspires millions of people from across the globe to mobilise to protect the planet. This year, the theme is ‘Climate Action’, as the organisers have emphasised that climate change continues to be one of the most pressing matters facing the planet.
This year also marks the first year where efforts will take place completely online, with organisers urging people to protest virtually and rally online to drive action, rather than in person as they have done in previous years. Those who wish to take part are being encouraged to share the official hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE.
Earth Day first launched in 1970 when millions of activists in America took to the streets to protest for environmental reform. Initially used as a platform to teach environmentalism and warn of the dangers of industrialisation, Earth Day quickly grew into the global movement that we recognise today in 2020.
It was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in the aftermath of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and spearheaded the creation of landmark environmental laws and the Environmental Protection Agency. Following the first-ever Earth Day, the US passed the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Today, more than a billion people around the world take part in marches and clean-up initiatives to protect the environment, making it the largest civic observance in the world!
Find out more at earthday.org.