(CTN News) – It’s Earth Day on Friday, and this year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.”
Earth Day’s global organizer EarthDay.org’s president, Kathleen Rogers, said she hopes this year’s message will give people hope around the world.
“People cannot operate in fear, so we looked for messaging that might inspire them to think positively about the future, and to take action,” Rogers told USA TODAY, adding that “Invest In Our Planet” brings together three parties: the government, businesses, and citizens. “We must all work together.”
Find out what you need to know about Earth Day and what you can do for our planet in 2022.
Is Earth Day a holiday? Why do we celebrate it?
Every year, Earth Day falls on April 22. It is the most widely observed secular holiday in the world. The holiday isn’t recognized as a federal holiday but has been observed by Americans across the nation for 52 years.
As EarthDay.org emphasizes, we should invest in our planet every day of the year, but Earth Day has become a prominent day for action. More than 1 billion people across the globe celebrate Earth Day by securing climate policy changes and changing everyday human behavior for the betterment of the planet.
When did Earth Day start?
The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Denis Hayes, then a young activist, joined forces with US Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Sen. Pete McCloskey to organize teach-ins at colleges and promote events nationwide.
EarthDay.org states that the group chose April 22 to maximize student participation as it was a weekday between spring break and final exams. Around 20 million Americans participated in the first “Earth Day,” including thousands of protests at universities and rallies across the country.
What’s different about Earth Day 2022?
A growing climate crisis underscores the need for environmental advocacy and action, further emphasizing the importance of “Investing in Our Planet.”
This month, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report warning that global warming could exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius if significant emission reductions across all sectors are not taken immediately.
What do people do for Earth Day?
Earth Day is observed in many different ways as a day of action.
The U.S. is expecting rallies and protests this weekend, from Chicago to Oklahoma City. On Friday, EarthDay.org and its partners will present a Livestream of the Earth Day Climate Action Summit. Volunteer community cleanups and local “fun runs” are also organized by nonprofits nationwide.
Additionally, EarthDay.org has 52 ways to invest in our planet, such as how to calculate your carbon footprint, organize a community cleanup, and contact elected officials.