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By Cara Beth Smith

“Invest in our Planet” is the theme for Earth Week 2023. Earth Day is recognized on Saturday, April 22nd this year, and the “Earth Week” event hosted by earthday.org began on April 14th and will continue until Saturday.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 on April 22nd. According to earthday.org, 190+ countries are engaged in Earth Day efforts and one billion individuals take action on Earth Day. It was the concern and efforts of people like author Rachel Carson, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, Congressman Pete McCloskey, and activist Denis Hayes that sparked the Earth Day movement.

Many topics will be discussed virtually in honor of Earth Week, according to earthday.org. “Topics include climate restoration, regenerative agriculture, environment and social justice, supply chain resilience, plastic pollution, resource scarcity, food security, the green economy, biodiversity restoration, universal climate literacy, and more while panelists range from public and private sector leaders to activists, scientists, influencers and beyond,” earthday.org said.

Several live events have been scheduled to take place, and are available on the Earth Day website. One event already occurred on Friday, but if you would like to tune in to some of the live Earth Day events, you have not missed your chance. Listed below is the schedule of events from earthday.org.

• Monday, April 17, noon – Activating Elected Officials at All Levels for Earth Day

• Monday, April 17, 2 p.m. – Climate Education at COP28: The Road to Climate Literacy and Equitable Education

• Tuesday, April 18, noon – Ending Plastic Pollution: The Role the Petrochemical and Tobacco Industries Play in Plastic Pollution

• Wednesday, April 19, noon – Stewards of the Soil: Addressing the Climate Crisis From the Ground Up

• Wednesday, April 19, 2 p.m. – Why Planting Trees is More Important Than Ever

• Thursday, April 20, 2 p.m. – Gaming for Good: A Catalyst for Environmental Change

• Thursday, April 20, 4 p.m. – Why Blockchain? Accelerating & Funding Climate Solutions at Scale

• Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m. – A Screening of Louie Schwartzberg’s Documentary: Gratitude Revealed

• Friday, April 21, noon – How Seeing Our Finite Planet From the Hostile Blackness of Space Can Drive Positive Change

• Saturday, April 22, 2 p.m. – Earth Day Fiesta: Collective Advocacy for Climate Action

In honor of Earth Day, many individuals and organizations host rallies, clean up days, and more to contribute to the cause. EDO (earthday.org) provided resources, information, and inspiration for “taking action.” Click here.

As an individual, there are small, impactful ways that you can show some love to our shared home, planet Earth. For one, litter has proven to be a huge problem. However, it is a solvable problem. Keep America Beautiful (kab.org) shared:

The Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Litter Study provides a detailed understanding of the quantity, composition, and sources of litter across the United States.

Key findings of the 2020 study include:

• There are nearly 50 billion pieces of litter along U.S. roadways and waterways

• We found slightly more litter along waterways (25.9B) than roadways (23.7B)

• The pandemic opened a new category of litter: we found 207.1M Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) items littered, about the same number as plastic straws

A simple way to help the environment and keep the Earth beautiful is to make a conscious effort to dispose of trash and waste properly, and encourage those around you to do the same. For more ideas for change, visit kab.org.

Happy Earth Week!

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