Earth Day, April 22, is an annual event to celebrate our planet’s environment and raise public awareness1 about pollution. Earth Day is observed worldwide with rallies2, conferences, outdoor activities, and service projects. The goals of the movement are simple but very important: they fight climate change and pollution; support communities, their local economies and way of life; as well as protect biodiversity.

The first Earth Day was observed in 1970. The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after seeing the damage done by the 1969 massive oil spill3 in Santa Barbara, California. It inspired him to organize a national “teach-in” that focused on educating the public about the environment. Earth Day has continued to grow over the years. In 1990, it went global, and 200 million people in 141 countries participated in the event, according to the Earth Day Network. In 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, 225,000 people gathered at the National Mall for a climate rally.

Earth Day 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of this holiday. Typically, Earth Day is assigned a different theme or area of focus each year; this year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth.” Most years, Earth Day events range from river cleanups to removals of invasive plants. With social distancing still in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital. Virtual events, such as environmental lectures and films, will take place on Earth Day (Thursday, April 22). Of course, social distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside and enjoy nature, as long as you do so responsibly! Nature is not canceled! 

Earth Day is important because it reminds people to think about humanity’s values, the threats the planet faces, and ways to help protect the environment. And what can we do on April 22? We can take a walk in nature and simply appreciate it, plant a tree or a flower, pick up a discarded4 bottle and recycle it (even if it isn’t ours), turn off our printers for a day, power off our computers and take a tech break, go vegetarian for a day or use a certified natural skincare product. These are just a few simple ways to make a positive impact for us and for our Earth.

Eva Vartíková

VOCABULARY: 1 povedomie – povědomí; 2 zhromaždenie – shromáždění; 3 ropná škvrna – ropná skvrna; 4 vyhodený – vyhozený