Earth Day was first marked in 1970 in the United States when the first mass protests were held due to the poor state of the environment and represents the beginning of the awakening of awareness about environmental protection and man’s harmful impact on nature. It has triggered a wave of actions, such as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and similar environmental actions has occurred in other parts of the world. Earth Day has been officially celebrated since 1992, when a program to promote sustainable development was announced during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. At the suggestion of the Bolivian government, in 2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared April 22 the International Earth Day. In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day when the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change entered into force.
The theme of this year’s 51st Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth”, and the intention is to show the reality of human impact on pollution and climate change, and motivation to think about their own habits and encourage changes in behavior towards the planet Earth that are necessary for its renewal.
We are informed daily about the endangerment of our planet and there is no doubt that the greatest changes in the history of the planet Earth have been recorded in the last 50 years as an inevitable consequence of the modern way of life. Irresponsible use of natural resources, excessive urbanization and industrialization, development of trade and transport, agriculture and tourism, as well as the rapid development of science and technology leave a strong negative impact on the environment and directly on human health.
The biggest environmental problems such as global warming, ozone depletion, increasing air pollution, and the greenhouse effect warn of climate change, and increase in the global average temperature of the planet Earth, which leads to melting glaciers, rising sea levels and submerging parts of the land, as well as large population migrations from coastal areas. One of the key problems of today is waste, both communal and technological, which pollutes the soil, water and air, represents a direct threat to all mankind, flora and fauna.
All of the above indicates the serious impact of man on the planet Earth, which has been clearly shown in the last year by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions on movement have led to the suspension or reduction of transport at all levels, the shutdown of major industries, as well as a shortage of tourists, and in a short time the way of life has changed significantly and the pressure on nature has decreased. As a positive effect of the pandemic, nature began to recover, and pollution decreased significantly.
We must be aware that just one day is not enough for the recovery of the planet Earth, which is the only and common home of all mankind, but every individual today should take small steps and contribute to the renewal of our planet: replace the car with walking, cycling or public transport, reduce energy consumption in the household and workplace, use water rationally, dispose of waste properly and recycle it, turn to organic farming, use renewable energy sources, plant at least one tree and pass these habits on to upcoming generations.
Today, the whole of humanity is facing a huge challenge and transformational changes, creative and innovative solutions, where the use of new technologies is necessary. It is about time to start acting at all levels, through city and state authorities, down to the smallest individual. Only in this way will we be able to save planet Earth for generations to come.