Last Sunday, April 22, people across the globe came together online to join the celebration – Earth Day.
Various social media platforms witnessed the trending topic under the hashtag #EarthDay and #EarthDay2018.
The annual event has been marked by holding street marches, planting of trees, meeting of local representatives, signing of petitions, cleaning streets among others.
Some communities celebrated Earth Week instead to mark an entire week full of activities with the aim of improving the surrounding.
This year’s event themed ‘End plastic pollution’ campaign aims toward ending plastic degradation caused by the use of plastic items.
The 2018 campaign against plastic use has got four major components that include:
- A grass root movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution.
- Educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that government and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution.
- Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility over plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastic.
- Promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.
History of Earth Day
On January 28, 1969, a well drilled by Union Oil Platform, off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, blew out.
More than three million gallons of oil spewed, killing over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.
As a reaction to this natural disaster, activists were mobilized to create environmental regulation, environmental education, and Earth Day.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970, a celebration that took place across the United States.
Over two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities came together to protest the poor environmental conditions.
Most of the changing environmental conditions are contributed by advancing industrialization.
The event brought nearly 20 million Americans out on a peaceful demonstration in favor of environmental reform that came up after a series of critical concerns were brought to the public’s attention.
Earth Day event is currently observed in 192 member countries. It is coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network and chaired by the first Earth Day 1970 organizer, Denis Hayes.
The day is currently considered the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people yearly.
Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day, a day of action and to change human behavior and provoke positive policy changes across the globe.
Most countries began making policies against the single use of plastic materials, among them is Kenya, which recently banned the use of plastic bags.
The use of plastic bags endanger the environment and in most cases, block the drainage system, a move that forced citizens to support the government in the ban.
Happy #EarthWeek everyone and remember to take care of our environment on earth since it’s the only one we’ve got.
By George Ogallo