What is Earth Day and why do we celebrate it?

Find out more about the activities we can do to mark Earth Day 2022.

Earth-Day

by Lorna White |

Every April 22 marks Earth Day, and here at Yours, we're all for doing our bit to take care of our planet. Each Earth Day has a different theme, and this year's theme is 'Invest in our planet', and with our Earth changing so much in the past three decades, it's easy to see why this is such an important cause.

What is Earth Day?

The very first Earth Day ever was held on April 22, 1970. The idea was created by San Francisco activist, John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson who asked American people to join in a demonstration against toxic drinking water, air pollution, and the effects of pesticides. A huge 10 per cent of the American population all protested together for the very first Earth Day.

This prompted President Nixon to create the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act following.

Earth Day is a day to increase awareness of environmental problems, and is also a great opportunity for communities to come together to clean up litter from public places, plant trees and simply spend time enjoying nature.

Earth Day activities

Earth-day-activities

There are so many things you and your family can do to mark Earth Day and do your bit for the environment. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

1. Go litter picking

Sadly, there's litter scattered about just about anywhere, from your local park to the beach. Spending the day picking up litter will not only make your local space look nicer, it'll stop harmful plastic polluting habitats. Just don't forget to recycle any plastic you pick up!

2. Plant a tree

As this year's theme is all about restoring our Earth, it's a great idea to plant a tree. Whether you have the space to plant one in your garden or you want The National Forest to plant one on your behalf, planting a tree is a brilliant way of giving back to the environment.

3. Save water

From switching off the tap to flushing the toilet less, there are loads of things you can do to save water. Try only boiling what you need when you make a cuppa, steam your veggies instead of boiling them, collect rainwater and water your garden first thing in the morning and last thing at night so less water evaporates in the sun. These are just a few things you can do to save water.

4. Make some simple swaps

There are loads of small swaps you can make that will help benefit the environment. Making sure you're using reusable drinks cups and bags so that you're cutting down on single-use plastic, buying loose fruit and veg, using reusable tea bags, using reusable straws, trying beeswax wraps and using compostable bin bags are just a few simple swaps you can do to help the environment.

5. Put up a bee hotel

Taking care of the insects that visit our garden is a brilliant way of attracting more species to your garden. With the bee population in serious decline, we particularly love the idea of having a bee hotel in our garden.

6. Eat plant based

Cutting down our consumption of meat and animal products is a great thing to do for the environment, even if it's just one day a week. Take a look at some of these vegan recipe ideas to get you started.

7. Recycle in the garden

There are plenty of ways you can recycle in the garden, from having your own compost bin to using old teapots and buckets as planters, and plastic bottles as mini-cloches and yoghurt pots to combat pests.

Read more: What you can and can't recycle

8. Create a wildflower patch

Patches of wildflowers are brilliant for creating bio-diversity in your garden and attracting all sorts of different and important insects including butterflies, bees and moths.

9. Watch a documentary about the environment

Swap watching your usual series to watching a documentary about the environment. There are so many brilliant options, but we're particularly fans of David Attenborough's TV series and films.

10. Go for a long walk to enjoy nature

What better way to mark Earth Day than spending time in nature and taking in all of its beauty. Whether you're taking a long walk in the woods, or taking a bike ride around your local park, there are plenty of ways to soak up the great outdoors.

There are also plenty of events happening across the globe for you to get involved in. Visit the Earth Day website to find the events happening near you.

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