April 22 is Earth Day, a day where humans everywhere take a minute to be grateful for this planet and the amazing natural resources we’ve benefited from thus far. It’s also a day where we do our best to make sure future generations can continue to enjoy those resources. Maybe you’ll unplug the TV, take a bike to work or plant a tree. This year marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day!
However you choose to honor it, Earth Day is a great way to jumpstart a lifetime of taking better care of our planet.
We collected some facts you probably never knew about Earth Day.
- Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, founded Earth Day in 1970 to raise public consciousness about environmental concerns such as pollution, oil spills and vanishing wildlife.
- Twenty million Americans, about 10 percent of the country’s population at the time, took part in events and demonstrations on the first Earth Day.
- Around 1 billion people take part in Earth Day activities around the world every year.
- 2019 was the second-hottest year on record worldwide, just behind 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Today’s average American generates about 4.5 pounds of trash per day, compared to 2.68 pounds in 1960, according to the EPA.
- More than 30 countries and regions have introduced bans on disposable plastic bags to fight plastic waste, according to Greenpeace.
- Using a dishwasher is more eco-friendly than hand-washing dishes, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan.
- Since the first Earth Day, average annual temperatures in the contiguous United States have been warming at a rate of 0.45°F per decade.
- Electronic devices plugged in on “standby” mode can account for 5 to 10 percent of a household’s energy use.
- the theme of Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth.”