Earth Day facts for kids

Earth Day is April 22. It is a day to inspire more awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. It takes place each year on April 22. It now takes place in more than 193 countries around the world. During Earth Day, the world encourages everyone to turn off all unwanted lights, pick up litter, plant something and pay attention to the environment around them.

History

It was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. U Thant, the Secretary-General of United Nations at that time, has recognized it. While the first Earth Day focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 countries. Its name and concept were created by John McConnell in 1960 at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco.

The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans – 10% of the U.S. population at the time – took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

Earth Day led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Many countries soon adopted similar laws, and in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.

Greta

Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2003. When she was eight, she started learning about climate change.

The more she learned, the more baffled she became as to why so little was being done about it. At the age of 11, Greta became so sad about climate change that she temporarily stopped speaking!

In August 2018, Greta decided to take action. Instead of going to school, she made a large sign that read ‘SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE’, and calmly sat down outside the Swedish parliament. Her aim? To make politicians take notice and act to stop global warming. Greta was inspired by teenage activists in Florida, USA, who were protesting to end gun violence. Read more about the School Strike for Climate protests that Greta inspired!

Greta’s strike was picked up by the Swedish media, and the word started to spread. Soon enough, tens of thousands of students from around the world joined her #FridaysforFuture strikes – skipping school on Fridays to protest against climate change.

In March 2019, climate campaigners across the world, and inspired by Greta, came together to co-ordinate the first Global Strike for Climate. It was huge – over 1.6 million people from 125 countries took part! T

What can YOU do to help our earth?

Earth Day Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.

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