Earth Day - April 22

Graphic for Earth Day - Four different people surround a globe holding hands. Large green leaves surround the Earth. The words Earth Day are written in blue on the left.
Mei | Better World Info

➡️ Earth Day, April 22 - Planet vs. Plastics

Earth Day began in 1970 as millions of Americans united to stand against rampant pollution and indifference towards environmental protection. The day raises huge public awareness and has led to the establishment of major landmark environmental laws in the U.S. such as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

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This first nationwide demonstration for the Earth was the spark which ignited political action towards the creation of the EPA. It also played a pivotal role in the creation of global commitments such as the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Earth Day is now the largest international civic event on the planet as millions standup for the safeguarding of our planet and a better future.

The 2024 theme Planet vs. Plastics focuses on strengthening commitments to ending plastics for both human and planetary health. The nonprofit organisation is demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. They also aim to spread awareness of the serious health risks posed by plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution and demand an end to fast fashion.

Be sure to explore Better World Info’s comprehensive guides to the environment, the climate crisis, sustainability, nature, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Quote by John Kerry a former U.S. Secretary of State - "In a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."
Flickr | Environmental Illness Network

What are the Planets Most Pressing Environmental Issues?


The year 2023 has been confirmed as the warmest year on record. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are now well above 420 ppm, creating a series of devastating consequences for nations across the globe. Extreme weather events have become more frequent and more severe by climate change.

Consequences of climate change include wildfires, rising sea levels, hurricanes, flooding, heatwaves, melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice, drought, hunger, increasing conflict over rising competition for land, the widespread displacement of climate refugees, and the huge financial cost of inaction.


A 2020 study by the WWF revealed an average decline of 68% in the population sizes of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians between the years 1970 and 2016. This can be attributed to large-scale land use change for agricultural systems, the illegal wildlife trade, and deforestation.

More than 500 species of land animals are on the brink of extinction and are likely to be lost within 20 years.


Two Asian women wearing colourful clothing sit in a landfill site sorting through plastic waste
Pixabay | 19661338


Annually, the world produces around 350 million tonnes of plastic waste. 14 million tonnes of it enters our oceans every year. Devastatingly, 91% of all plastic that has ever been made is not recycled, this is one of our biggest environmental problems and represents a huge market failure.

Plastics take up to 400 years to decompose meaning that future generations will be left dealing with the irreversible effects of today's irresponsibility for their whole lives.


Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. Nine out of ten people globally are breathing in high levels of pollutants with Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India taking the top spots for the most polluted countries. In these places air pollution cuts life expectancy by 5 years.

Industrial emissions, transport, and waste burning are the biggest sources which are then exasperated by poor governmental regulation, aging infrastructure, and insufficient healthcare.


Dry cracked soil can be viewed into the distance under a blue sky. A few sparse bushes sit in the background
Rawpixel | National Park Service (Source)


Decades of unsustainable farming practices coupled with the impacts of climate change the planet is experiencing the devastating consequences of our inability to feed our planets expanding population.

Topsoil laden with fertilisers and pesticides is being eroded at a rate 100 times faster than it can naturally be replenished. As well as seriously limiting the soils' ability to produce food, it is also a key factor in the contamination of drinking water.

In 2022, nearly 258 million people across 58 countries experienced crisis-level food shortages, additionally 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water.


Children and adults workk together at a community tree planting event
Rawpixel | CC0

How can I get Involved in Earth Day?

  • Join activities prepared by environmental organisations near you

  • Plant trees, join or organise a local litter collection or clean up

  • Show your support at a local protest

  • Get active on social media, spread awareness and use your voice

  • Write to representatives in your country responsible for environmental and climate policy

  • Share Better World Info’s platforms for Earth Day and the Climate Crisis with your peers

  • Use the Earth Day tool kits for further inspiration

While individual actions may seem small, global participation in Earth Day creates a powerful force for change, influencing policy, corporate practices, and raising public awareness of environmental issues that require the urgent attention and action of global leaders.


A man and a woman wearing yellow high-vis jackets carry bin bags and collect rubbish from their local community
Rawpixel | CC0

Earth Day for a Better World

As an important platform for dialogue among nations, Earth Day helps to foster a collaborative approach to address global environmental challenges and push for stronger environmental governance and commitments.

It serves as a call-to-action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, end fossil fuel subsidies, transition to renewable energy sources, and protect the planet's precious natural resources.

We must unite individuals and organisations in a collaborative effort to combat environmental degradation. Be an ambassador for our planet this Earth Day!

Author: Rachael Mellor, 22.04.24 licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

For further reading on Earth Day see below  ⬇️

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