On Thursday, April 22, people all over the world will participate in Earth Day to support the environment and promote a more conscious awareness of the treatment of our planet.
Earth Day began in 1970 with an environmental movement sparked by increased air pollution, extreme consumption of leaded gas, and a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara. Twenty million Americans participated in the first Earth Day, and now, over 1.5 billion people worldwide take part each year.
This year, the theme of Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth,” and there are lots of ways you can get involved, whether you live in a house, an apartment, or in a dorm. Here are some easy, fun, ways to participate:
- Vow to ride a bike, carpool, or take the bus to help decrease gas emissions.
- Avoid plastic water bottles and shop with reusable bags.
- Plant a tree or take biodegradable objects or food scraps to compost.
The easiest, simplest way to participate in Earth Day is by spending the day outside, in nature, enjoying natural sunlight in place of electricity.
Sustain IU is offering Bloomington-based events throughout April and early May. Opportunities include volunteering at food banks, participating in a monthlong bike challenge or doing outdoor yoga, and attending summits and important discussions regarding sustainability, climate, and environmental equality. In open Sustainability Symposium on May 4 will honor and recognize those who helped the local community on Earth Day.
There are also many ways to get involved statewide. The annual Earth Day Festival in Indianapolis is scheduled for June 5 at Garfield Park. It will include an exhibit of local and sustainable businesses and products, food trucks, live music, arts and crafts and hands-on learning activities, and tips from wilderness experts. June 5 is also the date for the “Earth Day Indiana Recycle Run 5K and 1 Mile Walk,” in Indianapolis. In addition to raising awareness of environmental concerns, the Indiana Recycle Run/Walk reduces the Indiana waste stream by reusing and recycling race materials and encouraging participants to choose reusable water bottles and products.
Beyond the borders of Indiana, consider taking a global perspective through EARTHDAY.ORG’s “Earth Day Live Digital Event” featuring workshops, panels, performances, and discussions starting at noon EST April 22. The event includes panels and discussions on climate restoration, environmental literacy and justice, and citizen science, with world climate leaders, activists, nonprofit organizations, thought and industry leaders, artists, musicians, and people from all over the world. On April 21, join Education International’s conference, the “Teach for Our Planet: Global Education Summit.”
Earth Day happens just once a year, but it reminds us to appreciate and protect the beauty and wonder our planet provides each and every day. Consider giving back this April 22 and encouraging those around you to participate, too!