Celebrated since 1970, Earth Day is observed by people all over the world on April 22. As the name suggests, the day is dedicated to protect the planet, and spread awareness on how to conserve it. This year the theme is ‘protect our species’.
It was Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin who decided to commemorate such a day. Nelson had witnessed the devastation the staggering oil spill in Santa Barbara, California had caused in 1969. Around 20 million Americans on April 22, 1970, had taken to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Several universities and colleges also participated in these organised protests.
As per the United Nations, World Earth Day is celebrated so that each of us remembers that we are all responsible for the the sustenance of Earth and its ecosystems.
The day also identifies the collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and the Earth in order to achieve a balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity. This was called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration.
This day provides a suitable platform to raise public awareness around the world pertaining to the challenges and the well-being of the planet. It also serves as the reminder of the life it supports and the need to protect it.