How to celebrate Earth Day 2018

This Sunday, April 22, is internationally known as Earth Day, the world’s largest environmental movement. The emphasis for Earth Day 2018 is plastic pollution. You can find some easy ways on how to take responsibility and reduce your plastic waste in this simple My Good Planet guide here. However, it is not all doom and gloom, there are a lot of amazing things that people and countries are doing around the globe to improve the current environmental situation, and you can be a part of it as well. Celebrate nature, go out this weekend into the wild and discover how healing nature truly is.

Unofficially the first Earth Day was almost 50 years ago, when on April 22, 1970, millions of people in the United States took to the streets to protest the negative impacts 150 years of industrial development. The global ecological awareness was growing, and the change was needed. That year people in the streets started a movement that has now expanded globally and sees over billion people from around 192 countries participating every year in Earth Day initiated movements and causes. As the president of Earth Day Kathleen Rogers writes:

“Earth Day is now a global event each year, and we believe that more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures.”

Moreover, this year Earth Day brings awareness and aims to end plastic pollution:

“Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.  EDN [Earth Day Network] will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems.”

There are many ways on how you can get involved not just on Earth Day but throughout the year as an individual, educator or company. Earth Day Network also has several other campaigns that you can take a part of, such as deforestation, green your city, women and girls in leadership, to name but a few. You can find more information about these and many other campaigns and resources here.

And while there is still a lot to do to help our environment, there are also a lot of positive things already happening and worth celebrating. Here are just few of our favourites, you can read the full list on Verdict:

  1. Pakistan aims to plant one billion new trees.

This 2011 challenge aims to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020.

  1. The five pence plastic bag charge has been effective in tackling plastic pollution in the UK.
  2. NASA has found evidence that the hole in the ozone layer is recovering.

In January 2018, NASA published evidence from their Aura satellite proving for the first time that the hole in the ozone above Antarctica is recovering.        

  1. Scientists have managed to breed coral from the Great Barrier Reef and transplant it back into the wild.
  2. Honeybee populations are on the rise.

The US Department of Agriculture released a 2017 report showing an estimated 2.89 million bee colonies in existence in America. That’s 3% more than in the previous year.

  1. Many well-known endangered species were taken off the IUCN red list. These include – Giant pandas which was downgraded from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable; Snow leopards were downgraded from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable; Iberian Lynx were downgraded from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’.

My Good Planet would like to encourage you to be mindful and tread softly on this planet, and encourage others to do the same. Happy Earth Day!

Baiba Šustere

Baiba Šustere is a writer whose work focuses on mindfulness, health and wellbeing.