Earth Day was established on April 22, 1970, marking the start of the modern environmental movement. Basically, this is when people really started paying attention to how we were treating the planet and began taking action.
"Many things have gone better, a lot of things have gotten worse in terms of the global environment,” Nick Nuttall, International Communications Director for Earth Day, said. “But clearly this inter-generational link between 1970 and 2020 - the new imperative on acting on climate change so I think 2020 is a very special moment."
Climate change is affecting so many aspects of our day to day life -- from sea level rise impacting Long Island Sound to allergy season starting earlier. The Departmental of Energy and Environmental Protection has made and will continue to make great strides in our state's fight against climate change.
"The quality of air that we breath has improved enormously in part because we've helped to shut down a lot of fossil fuel power plants and shift to clean renewable sources of energy as well as improving energy efficiency,” said the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Katie Dykes. “And that's helped to again create cleaner air for our children and our communities to breath but we also know we have a lot more progress to make in our air quality, for example."
In fact today, DEEP is releasing a road map for electric vehicles to help move the state closer to investing in infrastructure that will help reduce emissions and air pollution coming from vehicles on the road.
So as we think about our individual carbon footprints on this Earth Day, Nuttall encourages you to, "just try and get to grips with the reality of the science but also the beauty in the world around you and do something about internalizing the science but also doing something to care for your immediate local environment."
A lot of Earth Day events were canceled this year, but you can still celebrate online! www.earthday.org has created virtual activities you can take part in. There's Earth trivia, you can learn how to raise butterflies online, you can even tour different parts of the planet.
Earth Day's partner, Clean up World, has created a new campaign this year, encouraging you to clean up your digital trash and all it takes is your cell phone.
"Everybody is taking loads of photos and videos and sharing them on WhatsApp, sharing them on Facebook, sharing them everywhere,” says Nuttall, “then leaving them on their computers. If you add up all the kind of energy required towards everyone’s rather frivolous photos and useless apps that you don’t even use anymore it’s such a contributor to the internet becoming 3.7 % of global greenhouse gas emissions."
You can reduce your carbon footprints in seconds. For more information on how you can celebrate Earth Day outside or online, just visit www.earthday.org.