Today April 22, 2014, more than a billion people around the world will celebrate Earth Day. It is the 44th anniversary of the annual day of action, and it has become a global environmental event. Earth Day originally began in 1970, when 20 million people across the United States rallied for increased protection of the environment. Back then some of the major issues included dirty air, toxic water, pollution, and a hole in the ozone layer. Today’s issues are a lot more modern, but just as scary.
Modern environmental threats such as global climate change, are what Gina McCarthy (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator) calls “one of the most significant, if not the most significant, public health issue of our time.” (National Geographic) This year’s Earth Day theme is “green cities”, because for the first time in history more than half of the people on earth live in urban cities. Emphasis is being put on different parts of city infrastructure and how they can be transformed to be more sustainable and eco-friendly.
According to McCarthy, the impact of that first Earth Day has been profound, and since then the nation’s air and water have become dramatically cleaner, and lead has disappeared from gasoline; while the economy has more than doubled in size. It is very important for us as consumers to be aware of how we effect the earth, and to take more time to inquire about efforts to prevent any further destruction. To celebrate Earth Day 2014, we should stop and admire nature, thank green plants for the oxygen they provide, and just be kinder to Mother Earth in general. It is our planet, and our responsibility to take care of it.
(Images courtesy of National Geographic)
(Featured Image courtesy of forever-yoga.com)