Celebrate every day as Earth Day!
In these unsettling Coronavirus times, is would be easy to overlook that today is Earth Day.
Earth Day is an international celebration that takes place around the world on 22nd April to show support for environmental conservation.
The concept was pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at an UNESCO conference in San Francisco.
A number of groups highlight the many environmental issues we are facing: air pollution, climate change, global warming… This day reminds us to change the way we treat out planet and to think about what we can do to save our planet. This year World Earth Day 2020 will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.
This day also honours the mutual responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote peace with nature and the earth as to achieve a balance between the cultural, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
At the end of 2020, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, all nations will be expected to make an increase in their national commitments.
Global change affects us all and has significant environmental impacts: glaciers have shrunk, ice is melting in rivers, trees are blooming earlier. As a result, we are noticing loss of sea ice, accelerated sea-level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.
Earth Day also highlights the importance of biodiversity for the planet: the Coronavirus epidemic poses significant threats to public health and the global economy, but also biological diversity.
Ironically now that we are all facing the COVID-19 threat, Mother Earth has halted everything in ways we would never have thought possible: fossil fuel powered factories are closed, polluting planes, trains and cars are grounded, supply chains have become localised and people in lockdown have returned back to their families, going back to basics, enjoying the simpler things in life.
This is the opportunity for us all to take stock and reflect on the impact of our presence on the planet – this is probably, (hopefully), a once in a lifetime opportunity to make significant changes in our daily routines to appreciate the incredible planet we are so lucky to live on.
Make the most of Earth Day, stay safe, stay home, save lives
And remember: REDUCE. REUSE. RECYCLE. RESTORE. REPLENISH.