April 22, 2019 marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, a day dedicated to celebrating and protecting our beautiful planet. It's the perfect opportunity for businesses, schools, teams, and communities to come together to commemorate the earth and help bring attention to environmental needs. This year's theme, "Protect Our Species" aims to raise awareness about the growing list of endangered species and how we can save them from extinction. Continue reading to learn more about the holiday and this year's theme, how you can get involved, and how to treat every day like Earth Day!
The history of earth day
Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22, which is the anniversary of the environmental movement in 1970. Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin at the time, proposed a "national teach-in on the environment" to make environmental protection part of the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans joined together in parks, streets and universities to promote a healthy, clean planet and responsible practices. The Earth Day Network (EDN) currently estimates that more than one billion people participate in Earth Day, making it the largest secular observance in the world.
Earth day 2019 theme: Protect our Species
The chosen theme for Earth Day 2019 is: Protect Our Species. According to Earth Day Network, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since dinosaurs roamed the earth over 60 million years ago. Unlike the dinosaurs, today's rapidly growing list of endangered species is linked to these human contributions: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides. Examples of some affected species include bees, coral reefs, elephants, giraffes, insects, and whales. The good news is, if humans act now, many threatened species can still recover. Learn more and get involved by joining the Protect our Species campaign, where you will learn that EDN's goals are to:
Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.
Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.
Get involved on earth day, and everyday
As the Network prepares for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, they've set the goal to reach 3 billion Acts of Green. An Act of Green is anything that helps improve our environment, like committing to recycle more or quit smoking. If you personally want to get involved, pledging an Act of Green is an easy way to make a difference and contribute to Earth Day.
On a larger scale, people around the world march, plant trees, clean up trash, sign petitions, and more to show their support for the planet and their commitment to better our environment. Here is our quick-list of ways your business can get involved on Earth Day:
As part of RoadRunner's Earth Day activities, we will be planting desk-side plants in our office. Desk plants are great because they are natural air purifiers and help remove harmful pollutants from the air. For Earth Day's 50th anniversary, the Network aims to plant 7.8 million trees by 2020. Find out how your business can help the Trees for the Earth campaign here.
The organizations that are working to make our planet healthier need our help. A little bit goes a long way when it comes to giving back! Make a donation to Earth Day Network here.
Spread the word! Talk to your colleagues, friends, and families about the impact each of us has on the planet and what we can do to reduce it. Communicate the importance of making small eco-friendly changes and share personal tips to inspire others to join the Earth Day movement!
REDUCE, RECYCLE, & REUSE:
Responsibly recovering your waste is one of the most impactful ways to improve the planet. The EPA estimates that over 75% of America's waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle around 30% of it. By reducing, reusing, and recycling the products your business uses, your company's environmental footprint will decrease, and it will lower costs by eliminating landfill fees, and decreasing service & pickup frequency.
One of the best ways to make a difference is by volunteering. Community efforts have the ability to improve our environment, bring individuals together and inspire others to get involved. Countless Earth Day cleanups are taking place across the United States throughout April. Here are a few volunteer opportunities in regions we operate in:
On April 27 from 9 am - 12 pm, SCA will be partnering with South Side Park to plant trees, clean trails, remove invasive species, and more! Learn more about the event here.
There are many communities in Chicago that will be cleaning up several areas of the city throughout April. Sign up and view the events here.
Celebrate Earth Day on April 20 with the Riverfront North at Lardner's Point Park! Help them with trash pickup, trail maintenance are more - learn how to get involved here.
DC will be holding several cleanup events throughout April. Click here to see about joining one of their events.
Happy Earth Day from all of us at RoadRunner! We hope you will join us in celebrating such an important day. Leave a comment below and let us know what your workplace is doing to get involved this year or share how you've participated in the past.