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Earth Day

Earth Day is a name used for two similar global observances. While some people celebrate Earth Day around the time of the March Equinox, others observe the occasion on April 22 each year.

Stretched out hands gently holding a plant in soil.

People unite on Earth Day to appreciate and respect earth's environment.

©iStockphoto.com/webphotographeer

Earth Day and aims to inspire awareness and appreciation for Earth's environment. The United Nations calls the event International Mother Earth Day.

What Do People Do

The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to Earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, and using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction. Television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.

Public Life

Earth Day is not a public holiday. Transport schedules and opening hours for schools and businesses are not affected.

Background

The April 22 Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water, and soil pollution.

Some people prefer to observe Earth Day around the time of the March equinox. In 1978, American anthropologist Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, founded by John McConnell. She stated that the selection of the March Equinox for Earth Day made planetary observance of a shared event possible.

Symbols

Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include an image or drawing of planet earth, a tree, a flower, leaves, or the recycling symbol. Colors used for Earth Day include natural colors such as green, brown, or blue.

The Earth Flag, which was designed by John McConnell, has been described as a “flag for all people.” It features a two-sided dye printed image of the Earth from space on a dark blue field, made from recyclable, weather-resistant polyester. Margaret Mead believed that a flag which showed the Earth as seen from space was appropriate.

Earth Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015WedApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2016FriApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2017SatApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2018SunApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2019MonApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2020WedApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2021ThuApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2022FriApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2023SatApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2024MonApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance
2025TueApr 22Earth DayUnited Nations observance

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