April 22nd is Earth Day 2013. Learn more about the importance of Earth Day and what you can do to celebrate from Julian Omidi.
You may have noticed the Google Doodle for today is centered around Earth Day. Around the world there are over 1 billion people who are participating in festivities to promote the message of Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change. In honor of Earth Day let’s take a look at some of the history and events going on to celebrate.
The History of Earth Day
The very first Earth Day was in 1970, inspired by the protests of the late 1960s and the book Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson was the founder of Earth Day, an idea born out of the aforementioned events as well as his personal experiences of witnessing the effects of a massive oil spill in 1969. On the first Earth Day, which has been observed on April 22nd every year, more than 20 million Americans took part in rallies to raise public awareness of the need to protect the only planet that we have. The foundation of Earth Day has led to the passage of such important environmental legislation as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and even to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency in December 1970.
Though the movement began in the United States, in 1990 it went global with over 200 million people around the world participating in 141 countries. In 2013 it is expected that 1 billion people in more than 192 countries will participate.
Earth Day 2013 Google Doodle
For the last several years Google has marked Earth Day with one of its Google Doodles. While it wouldn’t necessarily be something to note, this year it highlights something that is particularly important to my brother Michael and I: clean water.
By highlighting the precious natural resource of water, Google calls attention to the fact that so many around the world suffer from a lack of clean drinking water and sanitation. While clean water should be one of the most basic and fundamental provisions for everyone around the world, there are 4,000 children alone that die every day due to unsafe water and more than 10% of the world’s population lacks access to clean drinking water.
By simply capturing the water cycle in their Doodle, Google highlights just one aspect of Earth Day 2013 that you can focus on; helping to provide and maintain clean, safe drinking water. With only 3% of the world’s water consisting of freshwater, and estimates place the percentage of water that is actually drinkable on the planet at 0.37%, this is a resource that we must do our best to conserve.
Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2013
All around the world there are festivals and events that have occurred or are occurring to celebrate Earth Day. These are just a few examples of the events celebrating Earth Day:
- Earth Day Festival – In Santa Barbara, California thousands attended the Earth Day Festival on April 20th and 21st. The event featured live music from artists such as Mad Caddies, Afrolicious, and One Drop, a Green Car Show, the presentation of awards to proponents of environmental awareness Bill Nye and Van Jones, and speakers who discussed several topics related to conservation and climate change among others.
- Surfrider Foundation Clean Up – In Argentina the Surfrider Foundation is working to clean up local beaches while also planting trees and shrubs in order to aid in the prevention of water and wind erosion.
- Eco-Style Earth Day Flash Mob – In Seoul, South Korea, Ecomom Korea has organized a flash mob that will be based on the popular song “Gangnam Style” as well as an exhibition that will feature a photo display for Earth Day 2013 called The Face of Climate Change, as well as a Walkathon.
Will you be participating in Earth Day this year? If so, tell us about your plans in the comments section.
By Julian Omidi