Earth Day’s Birthday

In this day and age, there seems to be a holiday for everything, and yet one of the most important and necessary one gets neglected: Earth Day.

Haylee Haupt, Columnist

Every year, on the  22nd day of April, a special holiday occurs. This year, it falls on a Saturday. This holiday is mostly overlooked, but it’s one of my favorites. Still don’t know what day it is? Well, it’s Earth Day, of course!

Earth Day started on April 22, 1970, as an environmental movement. Rallies spread across the country due to people wanting to speak up about the damage being done to the planet from the wars (at this time, it being the Vietnam War) and oil spills. Every type of person participated: Republicans and Democrats, factory workers and farmers, students and the elderly. Everyone agreed that enough was enough and that we needed to start treating the planet better. By the 1990s, the national holiday became international. Countries from all over took after the United States and started their own protests and rallies about the environment. These nature-destroying actions were finally getting the negative attention they deserved.

Nowadays, Earth Day is celebrated in many different ways. Disneynature, a branched-off film unit of Walt Disney Studios, releases a film the week of the holiday every year. When you see one of the productions opening weekend, Disneynature makes a donation from each ticket to a charity relating to the film. This year, “Born in China” is being released, so they’re donating to World Wildlife Fund, which benefits snow leopards and wild pandas (two of the main creatures highlighted in the movie). Disneynature films are just a small fraction of a number of events that happen for Earth Day. A Billion Acts of Green created The Canopy Project, which, with their partners, encourages everyone around the world to plant trees. The Earth Day Network gathers people to rally against the planet’s climate change and greenery destruction. Every little event makes a difference.

You might be asking, “How can I participate?” For starters, you can raise awareness through social media, or just by word of mouth. From there, you can gather friends and family to plant trees and flowers, donate to charities, create a small garden (indoors or outdoors, whatever you’d prefer), or just take a walk and water any plants you see needing some extra love. These tiny tasks may seem insignificant, but if every person in your neighborhood were to plant a tree, one day you’d be living in a forest – the way it used to look. It’s about time we all give back to this beautiful planet.