APRIL 22 EARTH DAY: PROTECTING SPECIES
Think about the house you live in. You take care of it, don't you? You keep it clean, if a machine breaks down, you get it repaired, if the paint comes off the wall, you paint it. You immediately notice the changes in the house and take your precautions. Now think about the world you live in and look at it from that perspective.
The world is our home; a big house with enough rooms for all of us, embracing us. Do you think we give it the same attention we give to our house? We hear and see the negative changes taking place in the world every day, but how many of us take precautions for it? While we are trying to quickly remove a stain that pollutes our home, why don't we pick up a plastic pet bottle that pollutes our world and throws it in the trash? Let's ask ourselves these questions a little bit today, on April 22, Earth Day.
What is Earth Day?
First, let's find out what Earth Day is and how long it's been celebrated. Earth Day is one of the world's largest environmental movements. Today, more than 1 billion people will attend Earth Day celebrations each year. So how did we start to celebrate this day? In fact, everything starts with the idea put forward by activist John McConnell at the National UNESCO World Conference held in San Francisco in 1969 to raise awareness of the environmental threats around us. Of course, this idea also has a background. McConnell wrote an Earth Day Proclamation in the last months of 1969 and presented it to Joseph L. Alioto (Mayor of San Francisco). With the publication of the declaration in San Francisco on March 1, 1970, the World Flag is hoisted in Golden Gate Park and celebrations took place in schools. Thus, April 22 turned into a celebration with the participation of millions of people.
Meanwhile, there was a chance to present the declaration at the National UNESCO World Conference, and after the presentation, UNESCO announced that it supported the activities of the Earth Day Celebrations to be held at the United Nations and that it wanted to be the main sponsor. In the first year of the celebrations, in 1970, nearly 20 million Americans participated. The highly resonant actions brought laws such as the Clean Water Law, the Clean Air Law, and the Endangered Species Law with them.
Why is Earth Day Celebrated on April 22?
The story of setting the date for Earth Day celebrations is also worth sharing. In fact, March 21 (equinox), when day and night are equalized, is proposed at first, but Earth Day is set as April 22, 1970, with the support of Gaylord Nelson (Senator from Wisconsin) and the organization of Denis Hayes. Although the celebrations have lost their energy since that day, we continue to celebrate Earth Day by doing awareness activities with those who remember it, and by telling it to those who do not remember or do not know.
Earth Day Themes
A theme is determined each year on Earth Day; The theme of 2018 was “End Plastic Pollution” and the theme of 2017 was “Environmental and Climate Literacy”. This year's theme is "Saving Species". As you can see above, giraffes were chosen to represent the theme.
This beautiful shot from the eye of the photographer named Brad Wilson symbolizes all the giraffes, whose number has decreased from 155,000 to 100,000 since 1985, trying to survive with the loss of habitat, illegal hunting, and many more. Also, unfortunately, there are no international treaties protecting giraffes. “We chose giraffes to represent our 2019 campaign, with its iconic and individual beauty, and of course the many life threats it faces,” says Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network.
Unfortunately, this applies to many species, including bees, elephants, insects, coral reefs, and whales, and not only for giraffes. The lives of many are threatened by climate change, deforestation, loss of natural habitats, illegal hunting, unsustainable farming methods, and pesticides. This Worlds Day may be a good reason for all of us to realize this and what we can do individually.
What Can We Do for Our World?
What can we do? We can volunteer. There are many environmentally sensitive activities taking place around us, we can be a part of them and turn our respect for nature into action. We can play a role in raising awareness. We can raise awareness by sharing the information we have learned with our loved ones and guiding them on sustainability issues. For everyone, recognition and appreciation of behavior are a source of motivation. It increases the likelihood of repeating the same behavior next time. These are just a few of the things we can do, in fact, there are so many points that we can make if we take some time!
Happy 22 April Earth Day!