Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 (Credit: CC-BY-SA-2.0)

On April 22, 2023, over a billion people worldwide will celebrate Earth Day with various activities. Some will plant trees. Others will participate in neighborhood clean-up efforts or enjoy a nature walk. The modern environmental movement began on April 20, 1970. On that day, 20 million Americans took to the streets to urge the government to take steps to protect our planet.

It led to the passage of landmark environmental protection laws in the United States. They include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. In 2016, United Nations chose Earth Day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force. But more must be done to undo the impact of careless human behavior on the environment.

Simple lifestyle changes can help the environment (Credit: CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Earth Day 2023 focuses on the need to "Invest in Our Planet." The theme encourages governments, businesses, and individuals to take action collectively. Local officials can lead the charge by banning disposable plastics or restoring ecosystems.

Businesses can help by reducing their environmental impact. For example, clothing manufacturers can choose natural or recycled fabrics. Restaurants can seek out sustainable food sources.

Individuals of all ages can also make a difference with small lifestyle changes. Purchase everyday items, like shoes, from a "green" business. Turn off lights and devices when not in use. Bike to school instead of driving. Reduce plastic waste by using reusable water bottles and lunch boxes.

How will you "Invest in Our Planet" on Earth Day — and every day?

Happy Earth Day!