Our planet is truly a magnificent place. Known as the Blue Planet due to its abundance of water, the Earth is an incredibly complex and vibrant ecosystem, where living organisms interact with each other and their environment to create the ideal conditions for life. We have it all: it’s warm but not too warm, lots of water but again, not too much. It’s perfect. And it’s in trouble.
Which brings us to Earth Day on April 22nd every year.
In this day and age of instant information, we are finally beginning to understand the consequences of our actions and the impact they are having on our world and our survivability as a species. Wherever you look, nature is under assault and if we don’t take steps now to try and repair the damage, there might not be much of a world left for our children to pass onto theirs.
Did You Know?
Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now it’s only 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
Experts estimate we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day.
Every year, U.S. factories release over 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the land, air and water.
Earth Day is important. It educates us about what we have and what we are losing by acting in ways that aren’t environmentally friendly or energy efficient. Earth Day reminds us that we need to take action now to protect our environment before it’s too late.
How Did Earth Day Begin?
The first one took place on April 22, 1970 and was launched by the trio of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (of Wisconsin), Harvard student Denis Hayes and a well-known Eco-activist named Paul Erlich, as a call to global environmental awareness. Although it started in the United States, Earth Day has since blossomed into an international celebration of our planet, observed by nearly 175 countries worldwide.
What Has Earth Day Accomplished?
Without it, some landmark accomplishments might never have happened, such as:
The establishment of Environmental Protection Agency in 1970
The Clean Air Act of 1970
The Clean Water Act of 1972
The Endangered Species Act of 1973
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act aimed at “in-plant pollution”.
What’s Happened Since Then?
Quite a lot, actually. Thanks to succeeding Earth Days, people have become more aware of the role that the environment plays in helping sustain life in this fragile world of ours and that we need to take an active role in protecting it. For instance, since that very first Earth Day in 1970, we now:
Practice recycling, which was nearly non-existent 40 years ago.
Have alternative, energy efficient forms of energy, such as CFL light bulbs
In 1975, catalytic convertors became mandatory for all cars in the U.S.; and now we have hybrids and the first electric cars
SO2 emissions have dropped by 40%
Acid rain levels in the U.S. have decreased by 65% since 1976
Depletion of the ozone layer has been controlled.
So why is Earth Day important? Watch your kids playing ball in the park; go for a walk in the woods with your dog; or simply stand in the backyard and fill your lungs with fresh air until they’re fit to burst. That’s why Earth Day is important.
1. What did you find interesting from this article?
2. What things are you concerned about related to the environment?
3. How are you personally helping to preserve the environment on earth?
4. Share a few things that you learned ( from any source ) that you could apply to your daily life and help preserve the environment.
5. Why is Earth Day (saving the environment on earth) important to you?
世 界 地 球 日
第一次是在1970年4月22日，由美国参议员盖洛德·纳尔逊（威斯康星州），哈佛大学学生Denis Hayes和著名的生态活动家Paul Erlich三人共同发起，以唤起全球环保意识。 尽管地球日始于美国，但此后它已发展成为国际上对地球的庆祝活动，全球近175个国家都在庆祝。
实际上，很多。 由于接连不断的“地球日”，人们变得更加意识到环境在帮助维持我们这个脆弱世界中的生命方面所起的作用，我们需要在保护环境方面发挥积极作用。 例如，自1970年第一个地球日起，我们现在：
那么为什么地球日很重要？ 看着孩子们在公园里打球； 和你的狗在树林里散步； 或者只是站在后院，让肺充分地吸满新鲜空气。 这就是为什么地球日很重要。