Earth Day 2020: A Virtual Movement to Protect the Planet

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Photo from Christopher Furlong (Getty Images)
With people spending more time in their homes this year, animals around the world have been roaming the streets of human towns. Here are a few mountain goats in the streets of Wales.

From the beautiful flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest to the natural wonders of the world, planet Earth has some breathtaking features. On April 22nd, people from around the world work together to celebrate Earth Day, a global movement to raise awareness about protecting our planet for generations to come. While the normal festivities of Earth Day may not be possible because of increased social distancing restrictions, a virtual movement is still taking place to increase environmental activism. Before taking a look at what’s happening around the world for Earth Day 2020, let’s look back at the history of Earth Day:

In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a book centered around the negative environmental effects of pesticide use. Carson’s book sold over 500,000 copies in 24 countries, spurring the public into action to prevent humans from continuing to harm wildlife and pollute the planet. In 1969, after observing the public’s increased desire to improve the environment, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin proposed a series of college campus teach-ins to increase awareness about air and water pollution. Nelson’s actions caught the media’s attention, and environmental activists began rising up across the country. A wide range of organizations set up environmental awareness events on the first official Earth Day, April 22nd, 1970.

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Here’s one of the natural wonders of Earth, the Great Barrier Reef.

The environmental movement continued picking up steam in the United States with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency on December 2nd, 1970. The EPA was formed to enforce environmental laws and standards to minimize pollution and address environmental concerns on a larger scale. Earth Day activists also encouraged the U.S. government to pass the National Environmental Education Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Clean Air Act. In 1990, Earth Day spread to a global scale, as 200 million people from 141 countries joined together to encourage the public to make strides for a less polluted planet.

This year, since a large portion of the population is social distancing, Earth Day activists have taken to technology to spread their message about protecting the planet. This year’s Earth Day theme centers around climate change and the importance of rising up to help Earth remain habitable for years to come. Here are some ideas for how you can participate in Earth Day 2020:

As society continues to make industrial developments, we must stay aware of the effects that humans have on the planet’s ecosystems. Earth Day is a yearly reminder that we must work together to protect the biodiversity and natural beauty that Earth has to offer.