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  • Writer's pictureJessica Franklin

Celebrating the planet: Happy Earth Day!



We only have one Earth, and today we celebrate Earth Day.


Earth Day is an event to demonstrate support for environmental protection.


The official theme for 2024 is "Planet vs. Plastics." Earthday.org has called for a 60% global reduction in plastic production by 2040.


In November 2023, earthday.org released its report Babies vs. Plastics, which collated some of the latest science on the subject. The Guardian newspaper carried an Op Ed about the report highlighting that it is the children of the Global South who are being the most impacted by exposure to microplastics.


Governments and NGOs from around the world will gather in Ottawa to continue negotiating the terms of the United Nations Global Plastic Treaty this Earth Day.


History

The first Earth Day was in 1970.


The first Canadian Earth Day was held on September 11, 1980. It was organized by Paul Tinari, then a graduate student in Engineering Physics/Solar Engineering at Queen's University. Former Secretary of State for External Affairs and MP Flora MacDonald, officially opened Earth Day Week on September 6, 1980, with a ceremonial tree planting and encouraged MPs and MPPs across the country to declare a cross-Canada annual Earth Day.


The principal activities taking place on the first Earth Day included educational lectures given by experts in various environmental fields, garbage and litter pick-up by students along city roads and highways, and tree plantings to replace the trees killed by Dutch elm disease.


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