Leon Wang:11 Apr, 2024

Celebrating Earth Day: History, Theme, and Activities

Table of content

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First observed in 1970, it was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of the United States, inspired by the student anti-war movement. He hoped to infuse that energy into a burgeoning public consciousness about air and water pollution, thus catalyzing environmental legislation in the United States and sparking a global ecological movement. Earth Day now encompasses a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG (formerly Earth Day Network), involving over 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.

Theme Of Earth Day (2000-2024)

Each year, Earth Day is assigned a specific theme or focus to highlight important ecological issues or areas where action is urgently needed. Below are the themes from 2000 to 2024:

2000: New Millennium for a New Environment

2001: Climate Change: Can We Change Our Ways?

2002: Invest in the Earth

2003: Water: A Shared Responsibility

2004: Biodiversity & Survival

2005: Forests: Our Living Filter

2006: Green Cities

2007: End Poverty, Save the Planet

2008: Climate Change – Changing by the Hour

2009: Green Economy: The Solution is Now

2010: Biodiversity – A Rally for Life on Earth

2011: A Billion Voices Acting for the Planet

2012: The Green Economy: Does it Include You?

2013: Water in Crisis

2014: Green Cities

2015: Face Climate Change

2016: Trees for the Earth

2017: Climate Literacy

2018: End Plastic Pollution

2019: Protect Our Species

2020: Climate Action

2021: Restore Our Earth

2022: Invest In Our Planet

2023: Invest In Our Planet (carried over from 2022)

2024: Planet vs. Plastics

10 Activities to Celebrate Earth Day 2024

Earth Day 2024 will focus on "Planet vs. Plastics." Celebrating Earth Day can be both fun and meaningful when you engage with your community or take personal actions that contribute positively to our planet’s health. Here are ten activities:

Organise a plastic clean-up event: Join forces with friends and family members to clean up plastic waste in your neighborhood park, beach or waterway.

Analyze Your Plastic Use: Pinpoint any areas in which single-use plastics have taken root in your daily routine while brainstorm eco-friendly alternatives to them.

Avoid Disposable Water bottles: Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can carry around with you wherever you go.

Pack Zero-Waste Lunches: Plan on packing lunch in reusable containers instead of single-use plastic wrap or bags when packing lunch for work or school.

Shop products with minimal plastic packaging: When shopping, opt for products with recyclable or minimal packaging. Join a plastic bag reduction campaign: Many communities are participating in campaigns designed to reduce plastic bag usage; see if you can join one today!

Spread Awareness About Plastic Pollution: Discuss with friends and family the issues surrounding plastic pollution and reduce plastic usage by sharing informative articles or social media posts.

Support businesses reducing plastic use: When looking for businesses committed to using less plastic in their products and packaging, show your support through your purchases.

Be creative when searching for reusable alternatives: Come up with innovative reusable alternatives for popular plastic items such as produce bags, straws and cutlery.

Advocating for policies to reduce plastic pollution: Contact your local representatives and encourage them to support policies designed to decrease plastic usage, such as bans on single-use plastic bags.

Participate in a plastic bag reduction campaign: Many communities have initiatives to reduce plastic bag use. See if you can join one!