Earth Day marks the anniversary for people across the globe showing support for environmental protection. Have you ever wondered how it started? It all began when a peace activist, named John McConnell proposed at the National UNESCO Conference in San Francisco to honor Earth’s contribution to mankind. He also intended Earth Day to alert mankind about the need to preserve and renew ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depend on.
At the time when priorities were focused on profits and commercialisation of the American dream, the American government remained oblivious towards environmental concerns. The idea for a national day was initiated by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S Senator from Wisconsin after witnessing the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The efforts were fruitful when thousands of colleges and universities and hundreds of communities across the United States held peaceful demonstrations to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
Today, we celebrate Earth Day because we believe in reforestation, protecting the endangered species and reducing our carbon footprint. Learning about the environment is always the first step to preserving it, Earth is a living thing because it was designed to create and provide for all of us.
In Malaysia, the celebration of Earth Day has added significance. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia recently launched the National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016 - 2025, which spells out Malaysia’s commitment to promote the sustainable use of the nation’s biological diversity as well as ensure fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of biological resources.
Show your love for Mother Earth today and spread the word around! It doesn’t matter even if you recycle, volunteer for a community green project, install solar panels at the comfort of your own home or cycle to work! Maybe our single effort may seem small, but if millions of us are united towards nature conservation, then we would be saving Earth from destruction one step at a time. Be an environmentalist today!