Earth day (Dzień Ziemi) is the largest, most widely celebrated international environmental event (wydarzenie środowiskowe). Earth Day helps celebrate Earth’s unique place in the universe. It is the only planet in our solar system teeming with incredible biodiversity (niesamowita różnorodność biologiczna). Learning about and protecting this biodiversity is what Earth Day is all about. People all over the world celebrate our efforts to protect plants and animals and to clean up the world we live in. Most people celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd each year. In some countries, it is celebrated a month earlier on the vernal equinox (punkt równonocy wiosennej).
Senator Gaylord Nelson of the United States founded Earth Day. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in the United States. Across the United States, 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day. The huge turnout for the first Earth Day made it the largest organized celebration in the history of the United States. Earth Day’s success helped influence the government of the United States to create stronger laws to protect the environment.
This is part of an interview with Gaylord Nelson in the USA embassy in Warsaw, where he is explaining the beginning of the earth day:
And also how Americans celebrate Earth Day:
On March 21, 1971, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General U Thant made Earth Day an international celebration. He spoke about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City. The United Nations Earth Day ceremony continues each year on the day of the vernal equinox (March 20th or 21st), with the ringing of the UN Peace Bell at the very moment of the equinox.
In 1990, the first official International Earth Day was celebrated. About 200 million people from 141 nations took part in a celebration of environmental conservation. In many countries, the global event reminded presidents and other national leaders how important protecting Earth is to people.
Many of these leaders later took part in the first United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. At the summit, global problems such as climate change (zmiany klimatyczne) and the worldwide loss of indigenous cultures and wild species (utrata rdzennych hodowli/kultur i gatunków dzikich na całym świecie) were discussed.
Why Celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day reminds us we all share the same planet. Sharing Earth (Dzielenie się Ziemią) means taking responsibility for what we use and how we use it. It is a day to think of the environmental challenges (wyzwania środowiskowe) we face and how to solve them. Protecting Earth (Ochrona Ziemi) is every person’s and every country’s responsibility.
People traditionally celebrate Earth Day with the ringing of bells, often bells of peace. The tradition of bell ringing is practiced all over the world on Earth Day. In Poland Earth Day celebrations include events promoting ecological projects, workshops on waste segregation, environmental and educational games, presentations of numerous non-governmental organizations, point of collection of electronic waste and batteries, concerts, competitions for children.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)