Every year on April 22, people around the world celebrate Earth Day to raise awareness about the environmental issues facing our planet. The movement is coordinated by Earth Day Network, whose main goal is to “build the world’s largest environmental movement”.
Here is an excerpt from the Earth Day Network mission statement:
“Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 50,000 partners in nearly 195 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. We work through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.”
How Did Earth Day initiative start?
In 1969 at an UNESCO conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by the secretary general U Thant at the united nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. On this day, 20 million Americans marched into the streets to protest the negative impact of 150 years of industrial development.
While this April 22 Earth Day was focus on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Since 1990, 192 countries and over 1 billion people have joined the Earth day movement, making it “the largest civic-focused day of action in the world”.
EARTH DAY 2018
This year Earth Day is focusing on plastic pollution which is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life, and affecting our health.
The president of Earth Day Network, Kathleen Rogers, is explaining the choice of this year’s theme on the organization’s website: www.earthday.org
“Earth Day Network, the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide, today announced that Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics. EDN will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems."
EDN’s End Plastic Pollution campaign includes four major components:
- Leading a grassroots movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution;
- Educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that governments and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution;
- Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, and
- Promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.
As a purpose-driven company, Discovery is committed to preserving and protecting the people, animals and natural beauty that inspire our on-air stories and over the years has joined the Earth Day movement in a number of ways.
Discovery Education Virtual Viewing Party: Earth Day 2018
A virtual viewing party is a shared viewing experience of the Discovery Education video Celebrate with DE: Earth Day (Canadian Version). The video showcases the global celebration of Earth Day, an annual holiday observed on April 22 that honors the beauty and fragility of planet Earth. Thousands of classrooms will simultaneously access this video and share their thoughts and reflections about the planet and the importance of appreciating its bounty. For more information and availability in your area visit Discovery Earth Day Calendar.
Project C.A.T. PSA and Text-to-Donate
In 2016, Discovery launched Project C.A.T., a six-year initiative to help double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022. By conserving nearly one million acres of land on the border of India and Bhutan, Discovery has moved beyond the lens to protect one our most iconic and endangered species. If you want to know more about how you can join Discovery and help save tigers, you can read all about it here.
2017 Earth Optimism Summit
In 2017 Discovery has co-sponsored the Smithsonian's Earth Optimism Summit in Washington, D.C., an unprecedented gathering of thought leaders, scientists, artists, civic leaders and media to discuss and share solutions around global conservation. Discovery shared stories of conservation heroes in the US with a screening of Discovery Channel's RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN. The documentary is part of the Discovery Impact strand, a slate of groundbreaking documentaries focusing on humankind's impact on the environment and what individuals and society as a whole can do to solve some of the largest problems facing the planet.
Other Discovery Events
Science Channel has also partnered up with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to participate in the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C., one of more than 500 marches taking place across the country, promoting the Science Super Heroes initiative, which honors innovators who are making a difference in STEM on a local and national level.
Also, back I 2017, Discovery supported George Washington University's Planet Forward Summit in Washington D.C., which brought together students, scientists, communicators, innovators, and policymakers for a two-day conference to discuss effective environmental storytelling and find solutions to the biggest challenges facing our planet. More details on Discovery's commitment to Planet Earth & Earth Day, you can read here.
Saving Planet Earth - Documentaries
Here are two more Discovery production you may enjoy on April 22, Earth Day:
Author: Delia Dobritoiu