What is Earth Day?

Earth Day has become one of the most widely celebrated environmental events across the globe. On this day, events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. Currently it is celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. It was originally celebrated at Spring Equinox around 21 March every day but now the United Nations has designated 22 April as the International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day Network coordinates this annual day across the globe.

Earth Day is all about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet Earth with its incredible biodiversity. On this day various national and international activities are conducted to understand the biodiversity and how should we protect our nature – plants, animals and environment.

Today, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with numerous partners and communities in more than 192 countries to raise the environmental concerns and diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. Apart from this, large number of communities celebrate Earth Week and create awareness among other people regarding environment issues.


Earth Day Network promotes various ideas to increase awareness among people. Some of them include convincing people to buy green products, focus on the concept of Reduce, Recycle and Reuse, pledging friends and family to fight against global warming. The earth day movement last from a day to over couple of weeks where numerous actions are taken to clean up the environment such as planting trees and saplings, collecting and removing garbage, imparting environmental education to others to understand the effects of climate change, cleaning of roads and parks, signing petitions, showing movies and many more.

Earth Day Facts

  • Earth Day Flag is called Ecology Flag. It was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb and was first published in the Los Angeles Free Press on 7 November 1969. The Ecology symbol resembles Greek letter theta and is a combination of the letters “E” and “O” taken from the words “Environment” and “Organism,” respectively. The flag consists of thirteen alternating-green-and-whites stripes with symbol on the left hand side.
  •  Earth Day Anthem is a universal song associated with Earth Day. Its lyrics are set to the tone of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” melody on which the official anthem of the European Union is based.

“Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world.”

  • Earth Day became an international event on 21 March 1971, when UN’s Secretary-General U Thant spoke about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City. Since then, the United Nations Earth Day ceremony continues each year on the day of the vernal equinox (March 20th or 21st), with the ringing of the UN Peace Bell at the very moment of the equinox.
  • More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day of United States that took place on 22 April 1970. This huge turnout made the first Earth Day as the largest organized celebration in the history of the United States. The success of Earth Day helped to influence the United States’ government to create stronger laws to protect the environment.
  • Earth Day Network, the organization behind the Earth Day movement, works with over 22000 partners in more than 192 countries worldwide to raise environmental concerns. Today more than 1 billion people participate in earth day activities each year to make it one of the most largest movement on earth.
  • Earth Day 2000 combined ambitious spirit of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. This was the year when Earth Day used Internet to expand its reach and organize activists across several continents. The message was loud and clear and it proved invaluable domestically and internationally.
  • In year 2009, United Nations officially renamed Earth Day as International Mother Earth Day.
  • On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.
  • Every year on April 22, men, women, children, groups and communities all around the world gather together and put all their efforts to collect garbage, plant saplings, encourage people to go for recycling, sign petitions and discuss issues to save this planet from depleting resources.
  • In few places, earth day is celebrated throughout the week to expand its reach so that more people take part and put their efforts to preserve the environment.

Earth Day Significance

Earth Day is a day dedicated to increasing awareness about the Earth, its issues and problems. Today, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. As a result of this remarkable event, various policy agreements and acts are sanctioned such as Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many others.

Earth Day has gained significant significance in the past. This is due to the fact that people have been witnessing shortage of food, sky rocketing fuel prices, increased global warming and changing weather patterns. It is a day that acknowledges the importance of our planet. People come to know about the contemporary environment issues such as global warming, depleting resources etc. Both adults and kids become conscious about the strategies and tactics which they can adopt in day-to-day life to ensure cleaner environments.


Various suggestions are brought to light about recycling, energy conservation, increasing plant and tree growth, save water, respect nature, reduce toxins in the air, keep the environment clean, reduce air pollution, planting trees and flowers to increase oxygen and love and respect towards all animals who inhabit the earth. There are small ideas with huge impact such as – plant a tree every year, switch off light when not in use, use recyclable bags for grocery shopping etc. presented during Earth Day celebrations.

Apart from the individual households, even companies are encouraging their employees to contribute their part when it comes to save this planet from degradation. Making use of public transportation, car pooling to reduce pollution, switching off AC after office hours, motivating people to take less print outs, using renewable sources to generate power, allowing employees to engage in tele or video conferencing, using CFL lights  and bulbs, extracting geothermal energy to heat up office buildings are few of the initiatives companies are taking to save energy and make this planet safe for our future generations.

On transportation side, companies are now manufacturing and selling hybrid and electric cars that do not make use of petrol or diesel to run. New technologies are coming in which are making these cars at par to that of cars running on petrol and diesel.

If people implement some of these and make changes in their behaviors towards Mother Earth, then we would be able to make our planet a much better place to live in – also for coming generations.

Image credit: camerashymomma , usembassyta




Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.