Earth Day 2019 focuses on protecting species

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Earth Day is a global event that is celebrated every year on April 22nd. It was first observed in the year 1970 by American senator Gaylord Nelson with the objective of creating awareness and showing support for environment protection around the world. The world's first Earth Day saw an estimated 20 million people out on the streets to protest against the negative environmental impacts of industrial development. These annual protests have eventually contributed to changes in environmental law in US and has given way to acts like, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Today more than 1 billion people across 192 countries participate in coordinated marches, petitions and clean-ups in observance of Earth Day.

The Earth Day Network, this year, has chosen 'Protect our Species’ as the theme. The organisation aims to educate millions about how deforestation, pollution, poaching and climate change can each play a role in wiping out several plant and animal species on our planet. The importance of teaching the younger generation about the need for environment conservation and sustainability cannot be overstated. One such place that is taking the initiative to do this is the Madh-Marve resort in Mumbai. Ahead of World Earth Day, the resort held an educative three-day activity called ‘grow your food’. Children in the age group of 6 to 15 gathered at the resort premises where they were taught to grow their very own patch of vegetables.

Meanwhile theLalbagh arm of the Rotary Club in Bengaluru, has launched a 45-day long festival titled ‘Avani’ to mark the beginning of World Earth Day. The event will begin with a series of talks, art exhibits, bicycle floats, film festivals and performances, all focused on saving the environment. Activities will start from today onwards and end quite aptly on June 5, which is celebrated as World Environment Day. Actor and activist Prakash Belawadi, who is leading this event, says that the seeds for this were planted after reports that in a few years, migrant population in urban areas in Indian cities will touch 400 million. According to him, our cities need to be prepared for this as ecology goes much beyond religion, caste, language and all other barriers.

Organizers have planned a bicycle float to create awareness about endangered species. A parade of 10 floats designed by leading installation artists will mark their presence in city areas such as Lalbagh, Sankey Tank, Vidhana Soudha and MG Road from June 1 to 5.

The online retail giant, Amazon has also cashed in on Earth Day with over 200 deals on refurbished products from Amazon Renewed during the sale. This includes refurbished smartphones, headphones, laptops, accessories, and more. The objective is to get buyers to purchase refurbished products so that you not only save money, but also end up doing your bit to help save the planet.

As we celebrate Earth Day today, there is a need to spread the message that climate change is an immediate threat which should be dealt with urgency. If we choose to neglect this, we will be faced with dire consequences such as food insecurity, destruction of plant and animal species, rise in sea level and extreme weather conditions. It is upto us as citizens of this planet to take up the responsibility of switching over to a more eco-friendly lifestlyle.