Earth Day is an anual celebration of the achievements of worldwide environmental movement, and a protest of everything that is still to be done to protect our planet. one of the largest secular observations in the world.

Most countries mark Earth Day on 22 April, but some choose to celebrate it a month earlier to line up with the Spring Equinox. 

What is Earth Day?

What’s the history of Earth Day?

Earth Day began in 1970 after a US senator was inspired by the anti-war protests at local universities. He decided to stand up against increased levels of air and water pollution in the USA. On the first Earth Day in 1970, around 20 million Americans joined the protests, and it was the inspiration behind a number of important policies including:  

  • The National Environmental Education Act – promoting education around ecosystems, sustainability and the environment to make people more aware of the problems facing the planet. 
  • The Clean Air and Water Acts – these acts were among the first major US laws that established environmental standards for controlling air and water pollution.   
  • The creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Earth Day became a global event in 1990, inspiring millions of people from 141 countries. The 50th anniversary event in 2020 was the largest online mass event in history, involving millions of people virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

What’s the focus of Earth Day 2024?

Each year, Earth Day has a different theme and focus, depending on current global events. The theme of Earth Day 2024 is ‘Planet Vs Plastics’. is demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040, with the ultimate goal of creating a plastic free future.

There are several ways you can take part in Earth Day this year:

Female workers sort out plastic bottles for recycling in a factory in Dhaka.
Abir Abdullah / Climate Visuals Countdown

What are some of Earth Day’s most famous campaigns? 

The Earth Day Network works to fight climate change through various campaigns:

Enviromental literacy: Earth Day provides resources for schools to promote environmental literacy. By educating the next generation on climate change issues, the Earth Day Network hopes to encourage more young people to stand up to fight against climate change.  

Reforestation: Earth Day’s Canopy Project works with partners around the world, and has planted tens of millions of trees.

End plastic pollution: Earth Day is campaigning to end plastic pollution, through changing attitudes, publishing reports and backing important petitions.

Boat School in Bangladesh
Abir Abdullah / Climate Visuals Countdown

Discover more ways to fight for our planet