We celebrate Earth Day every April 22nd. This worldwide event marks an important date that allows us to reflect on our lifestyle and how it has significantly impacted the environment.
Today, we discuss the environmental issues and we can help reverse some of the damage done. Our goal is to ensure a harmonious coexistence with our environment and other species of the world. This can be done through various methods, two of which include shopping ethically and ecologically and promoting community programs for environmental restoration.
How Did Earth Day Begin?
Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Its origin is linked to the beginning of the environmental movement in the United States. Specifically, when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to organize a protest similar to the demonstrations against the Vietnam War.
The senator was frustrated that environmental issues were not high on the national political agenda, although the planet was already showing signs of suffering the consequences of human action. People were beginning to see the environment in which they lived deteriorate more and more.
For this reason, Nelson decided to call for a large demonstration. Approximately 20 million people from all over the country and from all sectors of society showed up.
Supported by universities and the environmental movement, this demonstration gave birth to Earth Day. The original intention was to raise awareness about the harsh impact human activity has had on nature. Also, this day helps shine a light on how the dynamics of the struggle have changed over the years. Historical context and understanding of the time frame in which industry had begun to take a toll further our perspective and understanding of climate change and deforestation among other issues.
The United Nations recognizes Earth Day as an important opportunity to balance present and future generations’ economic, social, and environmental needs with environmental well-being. Today, Earth Day not only helps raise awareness about destruction but also reminds us that change is within our reach. Many organizations and individuals have made it their job to remind all of us that small shifts in our day-to-day habits can have a great effect on the overall health of the environment.
The First World Environmental Summit
By 1972, the first world environmental summit was held in Stockholm. This marked the first official summit by the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Because of this meeting, important issues concerning human and environmental health arose. The interdependence between human beings, other living beings, and the planet were discussed.
June 5 was also established as World Environment Day (UNEP), a UN agency charged with setting the global environmental agenda and acting as an authoritative advocate for the environment.
A New Earth Day Celebration
Concern about caring for the environment began to grow, and by 1990, a new Earth Day celebration was organized. This time not only in the United States but around the world. More than 1,000 NGOs organized events in 140 countries came together on this one complex issue.
Concern for Earth Care is on the Rise
As the years went by, interest and concern for Earth care increased. Heads of government from different countries and numerous institutions joined forces to implement measures that would contribute to sustainable efforts. Laws and regulations began to come into play and continue to evolve. Nowadays, this is especially true as they relate to big corporations. Initiatives concerning waste treatment, pollution, deforestation, and energy resources hold center stage. Actions meant to ensure clean water, air, and earth masses are constantly a topic of discussion not only in the political but also in the social sphere.
In 2009, the UN finally established April 22 as Earth Day to recognize that the planet and its ecosystems “sustain our lives,” according to the international organization.
Since then, Earth Day has been celebrated year after year, and people around the world are encouraged to join in for to take care of our environment. It is no secret that we are at a critical point in time. If we do not take action global warming will continue to increase until it becomes irreversible.
Why is it Important to Celebrate Earth Day?
We currently live in a world sickened by pollution. Our rivers, seas, and forests suffer from worrying problems that endanger the planet’s biodiversity. Our humanity depends on the Earth’s natural resources, without them we face extinction.
It is for this reason that part of our mission at Liv&Grace, is to raise awareness and change the way people shop. We know a vegan lifestyle can not only help us but help reverse many of the aliments our planet is suffering from today. But, we do not ask that you change all aspects of your life. One doesn’t need to be vegan to shop for animal-free clothing. We simply ask that you take the time to measure your impact and ask yourself what small changes you can do to play a part in this revolution.
By refraining from consuming animal products, we directly contribute to conserving the earth, life, and natural resources. The reality is that we need the services provided by nature: food, drinking water, clean air, etc., to live in the best way, so we must take a responsible position on our actions about the Earth.
By shopping with Liv&Grace, you can invest in companies that support sustainable projects. A company like ours allows you to reinvest in non-profit organizations like Anambas. Our sister foundation which aims to better the Anambas region of Indonesia. The Anambas team works to restore coral and ocean health as well as teach the community how to live sustainably. Our friends over at Anambas Foundation are constantly growing, learning, and expanding.
What are we Facing Today?
This day serves as a reminder that today, more than ever, we need to move towards a more sustainable way of life. We should all want to live harmoniously with Nature and natural ecosystems. However, there are several issues that we must first become aware of in order to do so.
We all know that Global Warming is the increase in the earth’s average temperature. This causes glaciers to melt, the sea level to rise, and green landscapes to dry.
In order to help individuals, like you, make a different the UN launched a campaign entitled ACT NOW. This campaign does a wonderful job at educating the public on actions they can take. We consider it an excellent start to mindful and conscious practices.
Development of Greener Economies
A green economy is the one that seeks to constantly improve human welfare, social equality, environmental risks and ecological scarcity. It is necessary to move towards developing this economy as it encompasses all three aspects of sustainability. Although these are long-term changes, the sooner they are implemented, the sooner we can start to see positive results.
Environmental education is fundamental to achieving change. It is necessary to educate citizens about the protection of our environment and the importance of taking care of it and providing them with tools to contribute, all to generate a change of habits. It shouldn’t take articles like this to get people to question how they can help. Educational systems that provide scientific research should be readily available to all and some might argue necessary for schooling.
Important Actions Throughout History
Throughout the history of this International Earth Day, significant actions have been carried out globally, some of which deserve to be mentioned.
- In Asia, Chinese, Soviet and American climbers formed a team to collect garbage left on Mount Everest by previous expeditions, gathering more than two tons.
- In France, participants formed a human chain along the Loire River, reaching some 800 km to honor one of the last clean rivers in Europe.
- Some 5,000 people in Italy blocked highways in protest against automobile pollution.
- In Haiti, Earth Day was officially declared a national holiday.
- About 10,000 students participated in a clean-up campaign in Jordan.
- Nearly 35,000 Japanese environmentalists gathered on the Island of Dreams (an artificial island located in Tokyo Bay, built from garbage) to establish a temporary recycling center.
Restoring our Earth to improve human health
Coronavirus has taught us a lot. Among those lessons is that we are intrinsically connected to the environment. Also, that the mistreatment of animals can have a direct impact on our health. Our wellbeing and that of the Earth are intimately related.
Human mistreatment of the Earth, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, intensive agriculture, and livestock production are all factors that can increase the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans.
According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), a new infectious disease emerges in humans every four months. And of these, 75% come from animals. Hence, the close relationship between human, animal, and environmental health.
What to do During Earth Day 2022?
We suggest you make a public commitment, no matter how small, to perform an action related to the environment. It could be something as objectively insignificant as washing your clothes less, or by hand, cutting out meat once a week, or making sure the next pair of shoes you buy come from a natural non-animal source.
Committing to the ideas promoted by the Earth Day platform means educating friends and family about global warming. It can also include buying eco-friendly products such as energy-saving light bulbs and vegan fashion. We are all part of this generation that marks the transition from the industrial revolution to the green revolution.
While the idea is to care about and take care of our planet every day, April 22 serves as an incentive to take action and make small changes in daily routines to help fight climate change.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- Make your showers shorter.
- Plant a tree or create your vegetable garden.
- Reduce your waste and recycle as much as possible.
- Unplug machines or electronics that are not in use.
Although, and this is important to mention – living a vegan lifestyle is the single most impactful thing you can do to fight climate change .
Tips to Reduce the Environmental Impact of your Closet
So, with Earth Day as an excuse, we encourage you to consider the environmental impact of your clothes when you wear them. Here are some aspects to look out for when buying clothes, and also when wearing them:
Eco-friendly raw materials
Go for eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel, bamboo, etc… or those from recycled materials.
This one is simple. The less amount of travel time a garment requires in order to be made, the better. Ideally, pieces should be manufactured close to its place of sale. This means that less CO2 was used in the process.
Sometimes an ecological fabric is spoiled because a chemical dye has been applied to it to change its color. Although natural dyeing is complicated, more and more designers are betting on it. Give them a chance.
Choose to shop at places that have a social and environmental responsibly. Shop local. Shop small. Avoid big corporations. Make sure to avoid consuming and or wearing animal products, if possible. If you’ve managed to read this far and find our website than we’re sure you’re already aware of the massive impact a vegan diet can have on your footprint. According to a study published in Science Magazine “avoiding meat and dairy could reduce your carbon footprint from food by nearly three-quarters”. As mentioned above, a plant-based is considered the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact.
Quality clothing or vegan fashion
The higher the quality of the garment, the longer it will last and, therefore, the more sustainable it will be.
80% of the energy consumption associated with a garment has to do with the way it is washed. In other words, our washing habits are terrible! Therefore, bet on those garments that can withstand time without being washed and can be easily cleaned.
Even if it is not common, more and more companies are offering a free repair service. If you want to be environmentally sustainable, bet on them!
And most importantly, learn! Read and learn about how you can help the environment daily and fight against global warming. If you already know about it, it’s time to share your knowledge with those around you. Together we can all make a difference!
Every day is Earth Day. Let us work towards a future where concern for the Earth is not limited to a single day but to all days.
All actions in favor of our planet must be constant and sustainable to obtain favorable results. In other words, our responsibility towards the planet goes beyond our will alone. It involves acting constantly and concretely with small or big actions that will add up to achieve sustainable development.
Do you consider this day important? How are you going to celebrate it?