IMELDA BELL | CONSERVATIONIST | EARTH DAY 2021
What is Earth Day?
The very first Earth Day was on 22 April 1970, and we have celebrated Earth Day annually ever since. It is a day where we remember how fragile the earth is, and think about all we can do to protect it and all things living on it. Humans have damaged the earth and the environment with pollution, deforestation, poaching, etc and we need to do what we can to help it heal.
Every year there is a different theme, this year it is ‘Restore Our Earth‘.
Climate change, as well as destroying the world around us, has lead to new diseases like Coronavirus, which has had a huge impact on all of us, as well as the world economy. This is just a reminder of the harm we have caused all over the planet. ‘Restore Our Earth’ reminds us that we have the chance to make changes if we act now and work together.
“We must Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.”
Restore Our Earth
There are 5 ‘pillars’ under this theme:
- The Canopy Project
- Food and Environment
- Climate Literacy
- The Global Earth Challenge
- The Great Global CleanUp
The Canopy Project
Trees will be planted across the globe and deforested areas will be reforested. For every $1 donated to the project a tree will be planted.
Food and Environment
A foodprint measures the environmental impact of growing, producing, transporting, and storing of our food. It looks at the natural resources that are used, the pollution it causes and the greenhouse gases emitted from when the food was farmed until it arrives at our table.
There are many ways we can reduce our foodprints. These are just a few ideas:
- Don’t waste food
- Eat less meat
- Eat more plants
- Eat local produce where you can
- Check the labels for responsibly sourced products
- Buy food with biodegradable packaging
Through the Climate and Environmental Literacy Campaign, Earth Day wants to make sure that students across the world all have high quality education on the environmental and climate change, so that they know what to do to take action for change.
The Global Earth Challenge
This is where ordinary people, who don’t have specialist scientific training, become citizen scientists and join together to collect data for various projects. There are projects on how insect populations like bees are changing, as well as on-going research on air quality, plastics, and food security. Information can be entered through an app called Global Earth Challenge and is collected and used as one big pool of data from all around the world.
Have a look and see what citizen science projects are going on near you.
The Great Global CleanUp
This is all about picking up litter, whether in an organised group, or as a family or even on your own.
Ever heard of plogging? This is when you pick up litter while you go for a jog. Why don’t you give it a try?
Not only does plogging bring different people together in a common cause, it tidies up the area and gets rid of the rubbish littering our rivers, streets, beaches, etc.
Do you bit this Earth Day by looking at how you can contribute to the ‘Restore Our Earth’ pillars.
I like to use art, writing and photography as a tool for getting environmental and conservation messages to people. I was thinking about Earth Day and our beautiful planet and wondering what else to do to raise awareness of our wonderful wildlife, when a map popped up on a television programme and it suddenly struck me how much South Africa looks like a rhino. That was when I decided to create this piece of digital art to use to help spread the word about these magnificent creatures. Animals are vital to the earth & the environment and we must protect them. The rhino is so important that it even fits into the world map. I think that is pretty cool!
Happy Earth Day 2021!
Restore our Earth