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Earth Day-2017: Students, Environmentalists, MNCs participate in awareness drives, campaigns in social media to Save Planet

Earth Day 2017, VOA

New Delhi, April 22, 2017: The 48th Earth Day celebrations on Saturday saw participation from school children in awareness drives, campaigns in social media, emotional appeals from MNCs and a request from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep the planet clean and green.

While describing the Earth Day “a day of gratitude to mother earth”, Modi said: “It is our duty to live in harmony with the plants, animals and birds we share the earth with. We owe this to our future generations.”

He hoped that this year’s theme of “Environmental and Climate Literacy” would help in creating awareness about protecting nature and natural resources.

According to the Earth Day Network, a global environmental movement, April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environment movement in 1970.

Also, hundreds of volunteers, including students and officials of the US embassy, were out on the streets here to promote air quality awareness among people of the national capital and conducted a survey.

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As part of the Earth Day activities, the US embassy, in cooperation with programme partner Clean Air Asia, organised a two-day campaign “Better Air, Better Earth” to promote air quality awareness.

The campaign involved volunteers from the embassies of the US, Sweden, Spain, the High Commission of Canada and Clean Air Asia’s Youth Clean Air Network (YCan), who were posted at various locations here to record PM 2.5 levels and take a perception survey.

The campaign would continue on Sunday when the volunteers would record people’s perception of air pollution in the city.

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“We are proud to support Clean Air Asia’s efforts to raise awareness about air quality in India. Projects like these are at the heart of this year’s Earth Day theme — environmental literacy,” Richard Pinkham, Director of Programmes, New Delhi American Centre, said.

Manaswi Singha, a student of Delhi University, and Nishant, an engineering student of Delhi Technological University, who were conducting the survey, said that they chose to be a part of the campaign as they wanted to create awareness and understand the real cause of pollution.

Also, NGOs, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Wildlife SOS organised a Snake Awareness Workshop. The aim of the workshop was “to promote wildlife wakefulness among public and to mitigate the effects of wildlife human conflict”.

During the workshop, the team of Wildlife SOS demonstrated how snakes play a key role in the functioning of the entire ecosystem.

Also, there was a campaign to create awareness among the masses to save water.

“Eat less meat, opt for carpooling and unplug unused electronic devices — do your bit and make a huge difference to saving Earth,” suggested Google’s Earth Day doodle.

The doodle followed the story of a fox, who dreamt about an Earth that had been polluted and adversely affected by climate change.

Doing these small things could go a long way to help save the only known planet in the universe that harbours life, it said.

“Whatever you do today, we hope you’re able to take a moment to savour and cherish this boundless, stunning Earth that we inhabit,” Google said in a statement.

At an estimated 4.543 billion years of age, the Earth is also the densest planet in the solar system and the largest of the four terrestrial planets.


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‘Skip The Straw’: A Call For Earth Day

Earth Day Call to Arms: Skip the Straw

Plastic straws.
Plastic straws. Pixabay

The United Kingdom is proposing a ban on disposable plastic straws.

With Earth Day coming up this Sunday, advocates are asking everyone to follow suit and skip the straw.

Straws and stirrers are among the top 10 items found in coastal cleanups worldwide, according to the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, which has been conducting annual trash pickups for more than 30 years.

The group says the ocean is littered with 150 million metric tons of plastic trash, clogging coastlines, ensnaring wildlife and even littering land far from any human settlement.

And each year, another 8 million tons wash in, according to a recent study.

WATCH: 'Skip the Straw': A Call For Earth Day
A screen capture from WATCH: ‘Skip the Straw’: A Call For Earth Day VOA

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on Thursday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton ear buds.

May called on other Commonwealth nations to do the same.

Also Read: Britain To Ban Sale Of Plastic Straws In Bid To Fight Waste

Skipping the straw will not solve the problem on its own, acknowledges Nick Mallos, director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Program.

“But they are a tangible action that all of us as individuals can take that do add up,” he said.

“It’s also about this mind shift that takes place when you start thinking about, ‘Oh, I don’t need a straw.’” Mallos added. “It cascades into other aspects of your consumer decision-making. Maybe after (skipping) the straw becomes habit, you think about the next step you might be able to take to reduce your waste footprint.”  VOA