Earth Day 2021: What is the environmental awareness day, best quotes - and how to show support

The theme of the 51st annual Earth Day is Restore Our Earth
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Earth Day 2021 marks the 51st annual Earth Day since its inception in 1970, as people from around the world come together to encourage positive environmental action.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the globe, many of this year's events will take place online once again.

This is everything you need to know.

Scientists and science enthusiasts gather prior to the start of the 'March for Science' Earth Day 2017 (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)Scientists and science enthusiasts gather prior to the start of the 'March for Science' Earth Day 2017 (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Scientists and science enthusiasts gather prior to the start of the 'March for Science' Earth Day 2017 (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event designed to encourage and demonstrate action and support for environmental protection. The day looks at how to tackle environmental issues such as climate change and pollution.

Each year there is a different theme to the day, and the theme this year is “Restore Our Earth”, which encourages individuals to focus on not only reducing our negative impact on the Earth, but also how to actively repair the Earth’s ecosystems.

According to Earth Day President, Kathleen Rogers, the overarching theme of Restore Our Earth is supported by three pillars: “Restoration, mitigation and adaptation.”

Earth Day has been marked on 22 April every year since it began in 1970. The first day was organised by US Senator Gaylord Nelson and graduate student Denis Hayes.

This year, the event actually spanned over three days, with events and activities taking place from 20 to 22 April around the world, however the main Earth Day events will take place today.

How to get involved

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many of the Earth Day 2021 events will be taking place online.

The Earth Day organisation will hold its second Earth Day Live digital event on its website at 12pm Eastern time, which translates to 5pm UK time.

The official Earth Day website outlines all the official events taking place, from workshops to panel discussions and even special performances, all focusing on the theme of Restore Our Earth.

Topics will include:

- Climate and environmental literacy

- Climate restoration technologies

- Reforestation efforts

- Regenerative agriculture

- Equity and environmental justice

- Citizen science

- Cleanups

You can find out more about events happening in your local area, and around the world, in person (Covid-19 guidelines permitting) and online, by using the Earth Day events tool on the Earth Day website.

What’s the Google Doodle?

Earth Day 2021 is also being commemorated by Google with its own Google Doodle and short animated film.

The Google logo has been decorated with greenery like plants, trees and nature. In the centre of the logo is a large tree with a play button, which if you click, you’ll be treated to a short animation.

The Doodle was designed by artist Sophie Diao, and when asked what message she hoped people would take from her art, said: “That your contribution can make a big difference.

“We have the power to grow a better future if we work together.”

Additionally, if you Google “Earth Day quiz”, at the top of the first page of results you’ll find an “Earth Day: Which animal are you?” quiz that has been put together by the team at Google.

Best quotes about the earth

“On Earth Day 2021, I appeal to my brothers and sisters throughout the world to look at the challenges and the opportunities before us on this one blue planet that we share. Let us commit ourselves to making a positive difference to the earth’s environment.” - Dalai Lama.

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” - Sir David Attenborough.

“Fortunately, nature is amazingly resilient: places we have destroyed, given time and help, can once again support life, and endangered species can be given a second chance. And there is a growing number of people, especially young people, who are aware of these problems and are fighting for the survival of our only home, Planet Earth. We must all join that fight before it is too late.” - Dr Jane Goodall.

“Every day is Earth Day.” - Mia Farrow.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” - Albert Einstein.

“We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. And we must share it with our wildlife.” - Steve Irwin.

“The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have the facts and solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change.” - Greta Thunberg.

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