Google doodle for Earth Day celebrates anniversary of the environmental movement

The battle to save the planet is celebrated in todays Google doodle, on the eve of the 48th anniversary of Earth Day.

The environmentally friendly event takes place every April 22, and its formation is widely seen as the start of the modern environmental movement.

But what exactly is Earth Day, and how did it begin?

In 1970 the then US Senator Gaylord Nelson helped organise the inaugural event as 20 million Americans took to the streets to demand clean water and clean air.

At the time it was still legal for factories to spew noxious fumes into the air or dump toxic waste into nearby streams.

By the end of that year the government had created the Environmental Protection Agency and passed the Clean Water and Clean Air acts.

Nelson recruited Harvard University professor Denis Hayes to coordinate and promote Earth Day nationally.


Earth Day went global 20 years later, mobilizing 200 million people in dozens of countries and putting environmental issues on the world stage.

Now, more than 1 billion people across 192 countries are estimated to participate in Earth Day activities every year, according to Earth Day Network, a Washington DC-based nonprofit that organizes the event worldwide.

This year’s theme for Earth Day is dedicated to ending plastic pollution, something which has made headlines in recent months in the UK following a damning episode of BBC’s Blue Planet which highlighted the impact plastic was having on the earth’s seas.

Earth Day Network has called the management of plastic waste a "global crisis."



"Plastic pollution is now an ever-present challenge," Valeria Merino, vice president of Global Earth Day at Earth Day Network, said in a statement.

"We can see plastics floating in our rivers, ocean and lagoons, littering our landscapes and affecting our health and the future of billions of children and youth.

"We have all contributed to this problem – mostly unknowingly."

An estimated 275 million metric tons of plastic waste were generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons entering the ocean, according to findings in a 2015 study.

Earth Day Network president Kathleen Rogers said: "There is a growing tidal wave of interest in ending plastic pollution and some countries and governments are already in the vanguard.

"Earth Day Network believes we can turn that tidal wave into a permanent solution to plastics pollution."


Conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, who is featured in todays doodle, said: “It is so important in the world today that we feel hopeful and do our part to protect life on Earth.

"I am hopeful that this Earth Day Google Doodle will live as a reminder for people across the globe that there is still so much in the world worth fighting for.

"With all of us working together, I am hopeful that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part for this beautiful planet.”

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year this year that’s Sunday.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day aims to encourage people across the world to be more environmentally friendly.

This might mean increasing the amount they recycle, volunteering for a local green project or installing solar panels in their home.

The very first event for Earth Day, which was held in America nearly five decades ago following a devastating oil spill, is credited as the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

Since its launch, Earth Day has been supported by an array of famous faces, including Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Watson.

Now it is coordinated globally by the non-profit Earth Day Network, which describes it as "the largest secular holiday in the world".

Each year, festivals, parades and rallies are held in at least 192 countries to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

People are more likely to take financial risks when in high-rise BUILDINGS

The day has its own flag, which was created by US peace activist John McConnell and, perhaps unsurprisingly, features a picture of the world on it.

It also has its own anthems – one of which is performed to the tune of Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, but with lyrics about protecting the planet.

This year, more than one billion people are expected to celebrate Earth Day.

For details of events in your area, visit www.earthday.org .

What is the Paris Agreement?

In 2016, the Paris Agreement saw 196 countries agree to cut their carbon emissions in an effort to keep the increase of average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

It took 20 years to put in place and saw president Obama agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the USA’s economy by 26% over the next decade – leaving it at 28% in 2025 when compared to 2005 levels.

However, last year, Donald Trump announced that the US would cease all participation in the Paris Agreement.

Trump claims that the plan to cut greenhouses gases will impact on US jobs and leave the country at the mercy of oil imports from the Middle East.

However, in accordance with Article 28 of the Paris Agreement, the US cannot withdraw is November 2020 – four years after the Agreement came into affect.

Where is Earth Day celebrated?

All across the Earth.

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, in America.

It was founded by former US senator Gaylord Nelson after he saw the enormous 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

To mark the landmark occasion, a staggering 20 million people took part in rallies across the US.

In 1990, the event went global, with 200 million people in 141 countries celebrating it, according to the Earth Day Network.

More than two decades on, at least 192 countries mark Earth Day every year, including Britain, Canada, Ukraine, Spain, and the Philippines.

Some communities even celebrate Earth Week – an entire seven days of activities and rallies focused on the world’s environmental problems.

How should I celebrate?

  • Grow your own food (or buy locally-grown produce)
  • Go paperless
  • Plant a tree
  • Stop drinking bottled water
  • Start carpooling (or take up cycling)
  • Invest in a solar-powered phone charger

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