5 Things You Can Do on Earth Day 2019

More than 1 billion people take part in Earth Day activities every year.

Apr 16, 2019

April 22 is Earth Day and this years' theme is protecting our species. All living things have value and play a unique role in the biosphere we all share planet earth. There are millions of species on earth, and many haven't even been discovered yet. While many have become endangered or extinct, the good news is that by working together there is still time to turn this around and save our animal and plant life.

That's what Earth Day is all about, mobilizing people, organizations, and governments to take care of our planet. Growing out of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, where 20 million American's worked together to launch the first modern environmental movement. These activists are credited with getting the US government to create the Environmental Protection Agency and pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. These acts helped clean up the air and waterways pollution that was plaguing the US.

Twenty years later, Earth Day became a worldwide movement that mobilized 200 million people in 190 countries and made environmentalism a global issue and demanded a global response. Today, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in the annual event.

Across the world, people march, sign petitions, work with civic and government leaders, plant trees, and clean up parks, towns, and roads. Pope Francis charged people to protect God's creation. In 2016, a presidential proclamation urged American's to participate in programs and activities to protect our environment.

The lesson from the first Earth Day is that when people come together, the impact can be huge. You can do your part too.

1. Join a Clean Up Day

Earth Day worked with grassroots organizations in the US to organize the clean-up of green spaces, urban landscapes, and waterways. On April 22, Clean Up volunteers will go to work to remove waste and pollution from our environment. You can find a location here and help to make our planet a better space.

(Courtesy of Earth Day)

2. Eat Less Meat

You do not have to become a vegetarian or vegan, but your health and the health of the planet requires looking at reducing the amount of meat in our diets. Changing to a more plant-based diet is essential to combatting climate change as well as curbing soil, water, and air pollution. Eating fewer animal-based meals will have a huge impact. Make fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables a bigger part of your diet and try to buy sustainable or organic produce whenever possible.

3.Take the Pesticide Pledge

Join the Earth Day Network and pledge to stop using pesticides. Pesticides have been linked to health issues and are the leading cause of bee colony collapse. We depend on bees and other insects to pollinate must of the foods we eat. The EU has legislated the ban of many of the pesticides that cause this, your action can help make it happen worldwide.

4. Plant a Tree

Trees are vitally important for the health of the earth. Trees build soil, soak up stormwater, provide food, and are the habitat for thousands of species. But most of all, trees sequester carbon and remove carbon and greenhouse gasses from the air. You can get your hands dirty and plant a tree or give to one of the many organizations that plant trees for you.

5. Support Organizations that Protect Species and Habitats

Our planet is full of animals and plants, but we need the help of organizations to protect that biodiversity. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) is the world's leading conservation nonprofit. Active since 1961, WWF's mission is to create a world where nature and humanity can thrive, and they have made a major impact on saving endangered species and habitats.

The Nature Conservancy has been protecting nature since 1951. The conservancy has preserved 100 million acres of land and water worldwide. They work with local communities, organizations, and governments to protect biodiversity.

Oceana is the largest nonprofit for endangered species in the world's oceans. The organization works to protect fish, marine mammals and aquatic life from plastic pollution. Environmental damage and overfishing. Ocean's initiatives and expeditions protect sharks, octopus, coral and sea turtles just to name a few.

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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