25 earth Day Facts & a fun Earth Day Cookie Recipe!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!
In light of the coronavirus crisis limiting large, in-person gatherings, Earth Day celebrations will be going digital this year, according to the Earth Day Network, the organization that coordinates official Earth Day events around the world.
While you may be stuck at home, there are still small, everyday measures you can take to protect the planet, from cutting down slightly on streaming to participating in this year’s digital Earth Day protests and events.
In honor of Earth Day’s milestone anniversary, here are 25 facts about the history of Earth Day, as well as facts about the environment that may serve as a wake-up call for action.
25 facts about Earth Day
1. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, founded Earth Day in 1970 to raise public consciousness about environmental concerns such as pollution, oil spills and vanishing wildlife. He tapped into the energy of the anti-war movement, framing Earth Day as a “national teach-in on the environment.”
2. April 22 was chosen as the date for Earth Day because it fell between Spring Break and final exams, and organizers wanted to maximize student involvement.
3. Twenty million Americans, or about 10 percent of the country’s population at the time, took part in events and demonstrations on the first Earth Day.
4. The first Earth Day pushed environmental concerns onto the national agenda. That same year, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
5. The first Earth Day in 1970 inspired the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, according to the EPA.
6. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is Climate Action.
7. Around 1 billion people take part in Earth Day activities around the world every year.
8. In the lead-up to Earth Day this year, millions of people worldwide will participate in Earth Hour on March 28. At 8:30 p.m. local time, people will participate in events and demonstrate their commitment to the planet. In past years, Earth Hour gatherings have contributed to real policy changes, including the creation of a marine-protected area in Argentina and environmental protection legislation in Russia.
9. On Earth Day in 2011, people planted 28 million trees in Afghanistan as part of a “Plant Trees Not Bombs” campaign.
10. Since the first Earth Day, average annual temperatures in the contiguous United States have been warming at a rate of 0.45°F per decade.
11. Humans today use about 50 percent more natural resources than we did 30 years ago, according to a report from Friends of the Earth.
12. Animal species populations saw an overall decline of 60 percent worldwide between 1970 and 2014, due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change and other factors, according to the WWF.
13. 2019 was the second-hottest year on record worldwide, just behind 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
14. Twenty of the warmest years on record worldwide have occurred in the past 22 years, according to Climate Central.
15. Scientists estimate that dozens of plants and animal species go extinct each day due to human activity.
16. Rising global temperatures are leading to more extreme weather events, including more intense wildfires and more frequent, high-intensity hurricanes, according to the Earth Day Network.
17. The world’s population is expected to increase from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2020, which will only increase the impact of human activity on the environment, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
18. Today’s average American generates about 4.5 pounds of trash per day, compared to 2.68 pounds in 1960, according to the EPA.
19. Food accounts for 10 to 30 percent of a household’s carbon footprint, due to the emissions involved in food production and transportation, according to the Center for Sustainable Systems.
20. U.S. automobile fuel economy increased 24 percent between 2004 and 2017.
21. You can improve your car’s fuel economy by 7 to 14 percent simply by obeying the speed limit.
22. Electronic devices plugged in on “standby” mode can account for 5 to 10 percent of a household’s energy use.
23. Using a dishwasher is more eco-friendly than hand-washing dishes, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan.
24. Nearly 80 percent of all plastic waste ever created by humans is still in the environment, according to Recycle Now.
25. More than 30 countries and regions have introduced bans on disposable plastic bags to fight plastic waste, according to Greenpeace.
EASY & FUN Earth Day Cookies to make with the kids!
1- bag of sugar cookie mix, plus ingredients called for on package
& Blue and green food coloring
Preheat oven to 375º and line two baking sheets with parchment. Prepare sugar cookie mix
according to package directions. Place about 1/4 of dough in one bowl and dye green using green
food coloring until desired color is reached. Dye remaining dough blue until desired color is
- Pull out pieces from each color and start shaping into a 1″ ball, patching if necessary to create an Earth effect.
2. Place cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges are set.
-courtesy of Parade.com & earthday.org & delish.com