April 22 is the Earth Day global observance aiming to inspire awareness and appreciation for earth’s environment and not to be confused with Earth Hour which happens at 8.30pm on the last Saturday of March as a global climate change campaign switching lights off for an entire hour.

Earth day is not a public holiday, so public transportation, schools and business will not be affected, but it is a day many individuals and groups perform acts of service to earth, like planting trees, picking up roadside trash or using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Small acts that can really lead to more knowledge or perception of how everything we do can impact on avoiding earth’s pollution and helping the environment.

An idea developed in 1969 by then democrat Senator Gaylord Nelson who, determined to convince the federal government that the planet was at risk, considered necessary the idea for an Earth Day where individuals in the nation could get involved from coast to coast to express concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air and volunteer in programs, participating in demonstrations, forums and rallies to further raise awareness about environmental issues and transform public attitudes.

The purpose of planning the first Earth Day was to show political leadership in the nation supporting the environment movement at that time. Nowadays, amidst the hectic life we lead it still continues to be a national agenda movement, perhaps with more need and urgency than ever before as environmental degradation continues to appear everywhere.

Though there has been substantial progress in the country and worldwide, there should be more public support, energy, and commitment to save our environment and protect our natural resources. Air pollution results in costly deaths and diseases that cost billions of dollars a year. Steel plants, oil refineries, paper mills, and city sewage plants provide products that we use in our daily life but also threaten with pollution and befoul ecological systems of the earth.

Controlling pollution, effectively reducing the emissions of toxic contaminants, creating sustainable products and alternatives along with consumer responsibility, are steps that can help. But it all should start with both individual and collective consciousness & awareness.

If you are in a school for example, you could be startled by the amount of food students are not eating and the tons of waste that fill up our garbage cans. The rejected scrap is recycled for good use but Green Habits still are not a practice of many in the country. This is an example of activities that should be part of the legacy of the importance of Earth Day Global Observance.

The Earth’s ecosystem is understood as “everything is connected to everything else”. The Earth Day should be a day to know about endangered species, to have concerned about our plants and animals but also minding about every little detail: not littering, planting trees, volunteering, recycling, and engaging to make a difference in the planet’s environment.

Recently on Saturday, April 18th, over a quarter million gathered on the National Mall for #GlobalCitizenEarthDay for an event to inspire change for the people and the planet. Recap the full day event here.

Get Involved in Activities that Help our Environment on the Earth Day Annual Events. Learn about the Importance of Earth Day Global Observance.