• By Nina Arias

Earth Day explained

Did you know that Earth is 4.5 billion years old? It has been around for so long that we often don’t take time to acknowledge what that really means. But just like the elderly, our planet needs to be taken care of and respected.

Earth Day was established in 1970 and continues to grow, spreading its message of clean living and aspirations of a healthy, sustainable environment for both humans and wildlife.

The need for a specific day dedicated to environmental awareness became prevalent after the country experienced a large economic boom at the cost of the environment. In the decades that followed, more and more countries began adopting the holiday to serve as a reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it.

The United States, as well as 193 other countries, dedicate April 22 as Earth Day, a day in which people gather to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Around the world, the organization earthday.org holds events to help educate the public about recycling as well as conserving water and eating sustainably. Multiple volunteer organizations partner with earthday.org to host volunteer cleanup in parks and beaches.

With COVID-19 making gathering in large groups difficult, here are some ways to celebrate Earth Day at home:

• Plant a tree. This helps provide more oxygen for humans and wildlife, not to mention that hundreds of thousands of trees are cut down yearly to make everyday essentials. In a way, by planting a tree on Earth Day you are giving back to the environment.

• Gather your close family or friends and take a trip to a local park or beach to pick up trash and dispose of it properly.

• Make recycling a common practice in your home. Glass jars and bottles can make unique planters or durable Tupperware. Even strong plastics can be reused instead of tossed away after one use.

For more ways to celebrate Earth Day this year, go to earthday.org.

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