All over the world, World Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year. Since the first World Earth Day in 1970, the Earth Day Network (EDN) has remained committed to its mission of promoting and raising awareness about the need to protect the environment for future generations under various themes. The theme this year is ‘INVEST IN OUR PLANET’.
How do you celebrate world earth day? This is one day out of so many days that we get to say thank you to our planet. Here are some brilliant and simple ways you can celebrate our wonderful planet today:
- Plant trees and flowers
- Clean up your environment
- Spend time outside appreciating nature
- Spread the word through awareness campaigns
- Organize Workshops, symposia, podcasts, etc.
- Engage in group walking exercises
- Give up items for recycling
- Conserve energy at home
- Swap out items in your house and office for eco-friendly alternatives
- Organize fun activities for kids
- Reflect and resolve to imbibe an eco-friendly culture
- Do something nice for your community
Investing in our planet means taking strategic steps to reduce our carbon footprint, protect biodiversity, conserve natural resources, and promote sustainable practices. The earth supports our existence and survival and so investing in it is quite crucial. At a time like this when the earth and out survival in it has been threatened by so many hazards, the collective efforts of individuals, governments, and businesses to create a more sustainable and equitable world are indeed necessary.
Here’s how to invest in our planet:
1. Invest in Efficient and Renewable Energy:
Using efficient and renewable energy sources can reduce emissions, improve air quality, and ultimately, preserve our planet. Currently, most of the energy we use comes from fossil fuels, which generate about 60% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and cause air pollution that can harm people and the planet. Using such energy to cook can also be fatal due to toxic smoke inhalation. Therefore, invest in solar energy, hydroelectric energy, wind power, hydropower, and geothermal energy which are cleaner, safer, and more sustainable.
2. Invest in Clean Transportation:
Investing in clean transportation not only reduces pollution and improves air quality but also provides sustainable and accessible ways for people to get to and from schools, hospitals, and jobs. Like the energy sector, transportation relies heavily on fossil fuels, which account for one-fourth of the world’s GHG emissions. Examples of clean transportation include the use of hybrid cars, green trains bicycles, walking, and carpooling to reduce emissions.
3. Invest in Food and Agriculture Innovation:
The agricultural sector is one of the biggest contributors to GHG emissions, besides transportation and energy. Reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides can harm the planet’s land, air, and water, contributing to environmental degradation and climate change. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), 80% of the planet’s agricultural land is used to produce livestock feed. Innovations like solar-powered irrigation, hydroponic- or soilless farming, and meat alternatives can transform how we grow our food and lead to a more sustainable way of managing our land and water. Eating a more aquatic diet (e.g., seaweed, and shellfish) can also reduce our carbon footprint.
4. Invest in Nature-Based Solutions:
One of the most cost-effective ways to tackle climate change is by protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring natural ecosystems. Nature-based remedies can also be found in the ocean, which produces half of the planet’s oxygen and provides food for billions of people worldwide. For example, planting and protecting mangroves, sea grasses, and salt marshes can absorb up to 10 times as much carbon as forests on land.
5. Invest in Indigenous Communities:
Indigenous communities have unique perspectives and traditional knowledge of land stewardship, often overlooked in public discourse and policy decisions on climate change. By investing more resources in these communities, the world can elevate and learn from individuals whose roots are tied to our natural resources.
6. Invest in Girls and Women:
Globally, girls and women depend more on natural resources but have limited access. They are responsible for securing food, water, and fuel for their families in many regions, making them uniquely susceptible to climate change. Despite this, their representation in national and global climate negotiations is below 30%. To achieve climate justice, girls and women should be included and represented when making important decisions related to the planet.
7. Invest in Peace:
War not only costs human lives, causes widespread hunger, poverty, and suffering but also harms the planet. During wartime, infrastructure is destroyed, industrial sites are targeted, water wells and soils are poisoned, and crops and forestland are affected. Lack of peace also makes tackling climate change much harder as global cooperation is disrupted. By investing in peace and diplomacy, future generations can be prevented from the scourge of violence while protecting the planet.
8. Invest in Educating the Younger ones:
Education is an investment that makes our efforts sustainable. We must teach the young why and how we all must invest in our planet. This could start by involving them in our earth day celebration activities and including sustainability issues in both curricular and extracurricular activities. Invest in books, fun animations, posters, games, and activities that will help to teach children about sustainability and investing in the planet.
It’s crucial to take action not only because we care about the natural world, but because we all live in it. Let us be more proactive and take part in making this world a better place for everyone. Every action counts, and together we can create a healthier and more sustainable planet for future generations. Indeed, every day should be Earth Day!
Writer: Ifokwe Gift