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Happy Earth Day: How Can We Get Involved?

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, and events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

It is also a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the earth and bring attention to stopping all acts that deplete the earth of its elements.

The idea of celebrating Earth Day began with John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. He proposed a day to honour the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U. Thant at the United Nations. A month later, a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator, Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organisation launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organised events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.

The theme for the Earth Day this year is, ‘It is our Turn to Lead’.

In Nigeria, Hubert Humphrey Alumni organized a series of events to mark the day. Among the activities was an interactive session where speakers and experts were brought to present papers on the various aspects of environmental sustainability. The United States of America’s embassy in Abuja was also inaugurated as the first green embassy in Nigeria for their green operations. The embassy, according to the alumni, has been in the forefront of encouraging and celebrating the Earth Day in the country in the last 30 years.

“The embassy has during their operations made most of their interactions electronic, reducing the use of paper; the embassy’s flowers and trees are watered by water harvested from the rain. The embassy has planted more trees in the last few years than any other embassy in Nigeria,” the alumni said in a statement.

 

What role can you play?

We can not afford to be complacent with the Earth because whether we agree or not, the earth is very crucial to life; the existence, the sustenance and the very essence of life depend on the value that mother earth offers.

There are several cases of environmental degradation today. We consciously and unconsciously destroy the world around us – and indeed ourselves, for the implications of a damaged mother earth are suffered by us – by the nonchalant attitude we sometimes have towards our environment.

We emit gases, spill oil, burn grasses, cut down trees, throw out non-biodegradable substances indiscriminately every day without considering the negative effects it has on mother earth and on the quality of our lives. Recently, a consultant chest physician in the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. Cyril Chukwu advised Nigerians to clean their surroundings in order to reduce the scourge of asthma and other ailments that could result from poor care of our environment.

This picture below illustrates the little ways we can contribute to making this earth better for all of us:

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If we care for our environment, we inadvertently care for ourselves, our children and the generations yet unborn.  We must learn to keep our environment clean.

This is the focus of the Earth Day!

On that note, here is an anthem by William Wallace in celebration of mother earth:

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment

Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise

Now we must resolve to protect her

Show her our love throughout all time

With our gentle hand and touch

We make our home a newborn world

Now we must resolve to protect her

Show her our love throughout all time

With our gentle hand and touch

We make our home a newborn world

 

 

About the Writer: Ejura Salihu is a writer and editor at Connect Nigeria. She is passionate about Nigeria and impacting lives positively. Connect with her on twitter @icyquin_msc

 

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Ejura Salihu is an Anatomist, Writer and Editor. She is currently the Editor-in-chief for Connect Nigeria. You can contact her via email: ejurasalihu24@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @icyquin_msc

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