Earth Day

Earth Day 2013: Let us all do our part to make planet earth a better place

April 17, 2013 by Daniel Sebastian

Earth day is a worldwide event that aims to raise awareness about the fragility of our planet and what we can do to protect it. For over 40 years now, every year on April 22nd, millions of people from all walks and ages around the world celebrate it with the shared hope and aspirations of a greener future for the next generation.

How did this all start?

Some of us may find this somewhat unbelievable, but honestly before the year 1970, a factory could spew dark clouds of toxic fumes into the air or even dump tonnes of toxic waste into an ocean and not blink an eye because it was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it because at that time, there were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment from the recklessness of human activity.

Earth Day as an event was inspired by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the calamity of the 1969 massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Earth Day’s aim was to increase environmental awareness and also steer the nation's political agenda on urgent environmental issues.

As a result, on the 22nd of April 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Incidentally groups that had been fighting against oil spills, pollution, toxic dumps, loss of habitats and even the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Whilst the original Earth Day was focused on the United States, today it is celebrated across more than 192 nations across the globe.

Our Environment Today

Environment Today

The fight for a clean environment continues in a climate of increasing urgency, as the list of environmental problems has grown to a great extent in the past few years. Today water, air, soil, and everything is polluted, because of the increasing population and the irresponsible behaviour of humans. Therefore it is important to highlight and create awareness on the environmental issues that affect the world today.

Global Warming

Global Warming is the increase of Earth's average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions. This has resulted in the melting of glaciers which in turn are responsible for the increasing sea level. If the temperature continues to rise, then slowly the entire land will be submerged in water.


The destruction and cutting down of forests is often done to clear land for space, energy and materials. Deforestation causes major problems such as increased atmospheric CO2 levels, soil erosion and extinction of species due to loss of natural habitats. Forests are an important part of the ecological cycle as trees supply oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, and prevent landslides.

Resource Depletion

Resource depletion is the exhaustion of raw materials and energy sources such as petroleum, coal, zinc, bauxite and etc. Overpopulation, erosion, pollution, mining, overfishing, industrial development, over-consumption and unnecessary usage of the resources are some of the reasons behind the depletion of resources.

Ozone Layer Depletion

As the ozone layer is getting thinner and thinner more and more harmful UV rays are passing into our atmosphere. These rays can cause cancer, cataracts, and lowered immunity to diseases. One of the major causes of ozone layer depletion is chemical pollution such as emission of the CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) gases, industrial wastes, and automobile exhaust.

Increasing Waste Generation

Solid waste generation is a continually growing problem due to the present destination for waste is public waste depositories, which is an environmentally risky method. Overflowing landfills can cause many environment problems, including the pollution of oceans and the decrease of marine biodiversity.


There are many types of environmental pollution: water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, noise pollution, and etc. Some countries are so polluted that children are born with birth defects, such as mutations of different body parts, while several others develop such defects later in life, due to their exposure to different types of pollution.

What are the things we can do?

Our earth needs our help! It is time to start giving back to the environment, instead of just taking. Let’s honour this coming Earth Day by doing something for our mother earth. Here are some ideas:

  • Plant a tree

    Plant a tree

    Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provides homes for a lot of biodiversity.
  • Plan a cleaning expedition

    Plan a cleaning expedition

    Organize a cleaning expedition with your family and friends to clear litter from roadways and neighbourhood streets.
  • Cook a special Earth Day meal

    Cook a special Earth Day meal

    Plan a menu that uses organic food and avoid vegetable or fruits that use pesticide or other chemicals. Then, decorate the table with recycled decorations made by you and your friends.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

    Reduce, reuse, recycle

    Return hangers to the cleaners, donate clothing and computers to charities, pack food in reusable containers instead of bags and etc.
  • Think green when you clean

    Think green when you clean

    Choose non-toxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long term damage to the Earth.
  • Use both sides of the paper

    Use both sides of the paper

    Using the other side of the paper can cut the pollution caused in the paper making process almost in half!
  • Swap out your light bulbs with energy efficient ones

    Swap out your light bulbs with energy efficient ones

    Swap to Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) as it last 10 times longer, use only 1/4 the energy and produce 90% less heat.
  • Start carpooling

    Start carpooling

    Leaving the car at home once in a while helps to decrease levels of air pollution.
  • Wear green or brown

    Wear green or brown

    Dress in environmental colours for the day, think "tree"! Wear clothes that carry pithy summaries of your environmental views.