Earth Day 2021 intends to restore our Earth

Turning the clock back needn’t be a sign of progress going into reverse. When it comes to Earth Day 2021, it could mean simply learning to restore our Earth.

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.

– Sir David Attenborough

Earth Day has been a regular fixture since 22nd April 1970, back when the world’s population was 3.68 billion. Now, as we celebrate Earth Day over half a century later, that number has grown to 7.87 billion. The world population has more doubled since the first Earth Day, and that only means there are more of us who must play a role in building the world of tomorrow.

We think of making progress as being a sense of constantly accepting change and advancement, but when it comes to protecting the environment, the answer is simple and at the heart of this year’s Earth Day: Restore Our Earth. This theme for 2021 urges billions of us to do what we can to embrace green technologies, new ways of thinking and ultimately help restore the world’s natural ecosystems.

Planting seeds for the future

Earth Day 2021 is all about spreading the word about restoration of the environment, after more than a century of industrialisation and urbanisation. In 1970, more than twice as many people worldwide lived in rural areas compared to urban environments. In 2021, the two have swapped places, and the urban population is booming, while rural communities are starting to stagnate.

Urban ways of living come at a cost, as this puts pressure on our natural environment, requiring a growth in land use for agricultural purposes. Rainforests bear the brunt of this, in our dash for growth. One of Earth Day 2021’s major campaigns is the Canopy Project, in which donations will be used to ensure that at least $1 results in the planting of one tree.

Planting billions of trees over the coming years will be vital in our fight against climate change, as trees are a natural solution to ensuring a process called carbon capture. By planting enough trees, we can offset the emissions we produce over time, while also helping sustain pollinators, stimulate local economies and protect endangered species.

Spelling out the issue

Another issue which Earth Day 2021 intends to keep front and centre is climate literacy. How can we expect future generations to protect the environment and understand the scale of the problem facing them, when we neglect to arm the younger generation with the facts?

EarthDay.Org is a firm advocate for all schools to provide a compulsory form of climate and environmental education on their syllabus, with an added civic engagement element. This is intended to reinforce the idea that protecting the environment is about more than just reading about in a book; it’s about inspiring the next generation to play its part when the time comes.

In case you’re wondering what you can actively do to take part in Earth Day 2021, the Global Earth Challenge might be the perfect opportunity. This new campaign will see the launch of a co-ordinated citizen science experiment, allowing users to download an app which records air and water quality, insect populations and much more.

The idea is to transform the average person into a citizen scientist in their own right. We’re swimming in a sea of useful environmental data, and projects such as this connect us all in the common cause of doing our bit to save the planet.

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