Why is Earth Day important?


A red-winged blackbird rests on a branch in a marshy area in Warner Park. (Paige Shapiro / Clarion)

Tessara Clark, Staff Writer

Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 annually to promote environmental protection and advocacy since 1970. Each year, over a billion people help improve the natural environment by planting trees, picking up garbage, being mindful of their electricity and water usage and more.
Although the prospect of teaming up to help protect the environment is admirable, picking up your own garbage and turning off lights when you leave a room should be a societal expectation. Why, then, is there an annual event related to it and why is it important?
Earth Day is not the only day in which people appreciate and care for the Earth; rather, the day is used to spread awareness of environmental issues so that everyone can appreciate and care for the Earth every day. The impact of the event has spread extensively since its creation, which benefits both humans and nature as communities learn what simple actions they can take to improve the natural world for generations to come.
There are numerous ways to get involved on Earth Day, either through an organization or independently. For instance, many nature organizations at the local, national or international level promote Earth Day with craft ideas to reuse waste, sustainability workshops and garbage cleanups. Still others promote planting gardens, turning off the TV and using public transportation to cut down on carbon emissions; there are ways for everyone to participate!
Additionally, plenty of places worldwide have their own unique celebrations on Earth Day. For example, New York City hosts a car-free Earth Day, where they encourage all residents to use public transportation or to walk or bike. In Rome, Italy, the “Earth Village” is constructed in the Villa Borghese gardens, including workshops for people of all ages to learn about their impact on the environment.
In Madison, everyone in the local community is encouraged to participate in the Earth Day Challenge, and help clean local parks by picking up trash, raking, weeding and removing sticks.
Does this mean Earth Day is simply the most notable day to plant trees and collect garbage off beaches? Although these activities help the planet in the short term, the real impact of Earth Day is that it serves as a reminder to everyone that the Earth needs our help to thrive every day. It’s an annual worldwide event that reminds the public of their ability to make change – even if it’s simply separating out recyclables or turning off unnecessary lights.
Earth Day, in short, is an annual, day-long event to promote the well-being of the environment by encouraging public participation and informing communities of the best ways to make an impact. From there, everyone needs to make it a high priority to spend the other 364 days of their year being mindful of their environmental impact to make this one day a success.