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Every year on April 22, Earth Day celebrates the birth of the modern environmental movement. The very first Earth Day—spearheaded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970—led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of new environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act.
While the early Earth Days concentrated on enacting legislation to clean up environmental concerns, Earth Day today is largely focused on what we can do to sustain our planet for future generations…
Creating a Green Future
The EARTHDAY.ORG 2023 theme picks up from last year—”Invest in Our Planet”—and is focused on engaging governments, institutions, businesses, and citizens to do their part: everyone accounted for, everyone accountable. According to Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG, “Businesses, governments, and civil society are equally responsible for taking action against the climate crisis and lighting the spark to accelerate change towards a green, prosperous, and equitable future.”
Governments around the globe have enacted many significant green policy initiatives, yet nearly every country in the world is not on track to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality by 2050, according to EARTHDAY.ORG.
The EPA released its most recent EPA Perspective: 5 Ways EPA is Protecting People and the Planet in honor of Earth Day. The Agency cites the following key areas the U.S. government is concentrating on to positively impact our planet:
- Tackling the climate crisis with the urgency it demands, including technology standards for cars and trucks and funding for local governments to cut climate pollution.
- Confronting longstanding environmental injustices and inequities, through investments in EPA’s environmental justice (EJ) initiatives to fund and support programs to reduce pollution and improve public health, particularly in historically underserved communities.
- Improving air quality in neighborhoods across the country with several action to cut harmful air pollution and smog from power plants and industrial facilities.
- Ensuring clean water for all families through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which invests billions in rebuilding our nation’s water infrastructure, and by proposing the first-ever legal limits for PFAS in drinking water.
- Building a healthier future, from the Clean School Bus Program to accelerate a zero-emission transportation future, to starting new cleanup projects at 22 Superfund sites.
What You Can Do
Governments, businesses, and citizens are all essential in taking action to overcome the climate crisis. When it comes to your organization, EARTHDAY.ORG suggests, “Businesses, inventors, and financial markets must drive value for their institutions and society through green innovation and practices. Like other economic revolutions, the private sector has the power to drive the most significant change, with both the necessary scale and speed.”
Change starts with action. Learn more about how you can be part of Earth Day every day.