Are you going to turn off the lights in your house for an hour? Will you try to use fewer plastics, just for a day? Or will you get involved and start your own initiative to add to the contributions of millions worldwide? Do whatever you choose. But, if you feel that you are unable to take immediate or grand action towards some end, remember that just being mindful about your actions and those of the people around you is an excellent place to start.

Earth Day falls on April 22 this year, as it has for the past 49 years. If we take a look back to this day in 1970, millions of people marched in protest of the negative impacts of the fast and ongoing development of thousands of industries across the world. The official day was initiated by US Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as he was disturbed by the neglect of important issues like the well-being of our planet and that they were not given as much coverage in the news media.

With some organization, he set out to mark April 22 as a day to dedicate bettering the condition of our planet which was and still is deteriorating at a pace much faster than we have expected (especially these past couple of years). To his surprise, some 20 million people signed up to participate in activities linked to ideas around improving the health of our planet. Not only did this bring change to citizens but it had a positive effect on the government as well. As global awareness increased rather exponentially, President Nixon at the time, was quick in picking up responses to such an issue and reciprocating necessary actions. Within the same year, many environmental laws such as the Clean Air and Water Act and Endangered Species Act were introduced. These new legislatures, that resulted from those meaningful protests, were just a hint of the power of collaborative efforts to make real changes.

Now, Earth Day is quite the global event. It is estimated that approximately 1 billion people partake in some sort of festivity. If you are interested this year, take the opportunity of being part of a march, cleaning up a town, road or nearby shoreline. Sounds a bit too much? As aforementioned, you could always set some personal goals: have it be to walk someplace instead of driving, minimizing your time in front of your TV for an hour or saving electricity some sort of way. It doesn’t have to be for long but just know that every effort does matter. I have had trouble believing that as well, and you may be feeling the same way despite the repetition, but it really does.

Next year Earth Day will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. What will you do? Besides sharing that “THIS VIDEO PRODUCES OXYGEN” post on Instagram, I’m hoping that you can maybe take some extra time to be reflective of some of your actions.

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