Celebrating the accomplishments of the environmental movement is not often recognized throughout our daily lives, so Earth Day symbolizes a day to do just that. It is also important in spreading awareness to protect our planet’s natural resources. Resources such as coal and oil are included, but natural land and wildlife is also prioritized.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970, and continues to be celebrated every year on April 22, which falls on a Saturday this year. This is a world-wide effort to maximize spreading the message Earth Day is trying to send.

The best way to celebrate this holiday is by helping the planet. Make a difference, even if you only participate for the day. Consciously try to use less energy, maybe by turning off lights or walking instead of driving. You can also pick up litter or plant trees. It may seem like such a small action won’t make a difference, but at this point, the planet needs all the help it can get. If everyone makes attempts towards a cleaner earth for one day, then the progress will be noticeable.

If you’re interested in a bigger event to partake in, or wish to gain hands-on knowledge about earth, there are plenty of major events happening in the bay area. One is the John Muir Birthday Earth Day Celebration, which will be at the John Muir National Historic Site on April 22, from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. It is hosted by the National Park Service and is targeted towards families and people of all ages. They will have live music, food for sale, an abundance of exhibits featuring everything environmental, local environmental organizations to share information, and will have many activities.

A couple activities they’ll have are bracelet-making stations which will use photochromic beads that are UV-light detecting. A more advanced activity will give people the opportunity to attempt splitting water using electrolysis, which is electricity from photovoltaic panels. This involves Earth Day because it is the same technique in which algae makes oxygen- by splitting water using the power of sunlight. Admission and parking is free, but more information can be found at the event’s official website, (linked under the resource section on this page)

Berkeley Marina is also hosting an earth day event at the Shorebird Nature Center. Their Earth Day Celebration is accompanied by their Berkeley Bay Festival, which celebrates the bay itself, including all its wildlife and the agencies dedicated to protecting them. More than thirty conversational organizations, all from the bay, will be present to share their exhibits. It occurs on the same date and times as John Muir’s, but more information can be found at the second link on the resources section on this page.

Another event in Berkeley is the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, “where activism gets inspired”. They will show environmental films, starting at 7:00PM on April 22. It can be watched live at the David Brower Center, or streamed on-demand at home. All proceeds they gain will be donated to support Citizens Climate Lobby and Trees For Oakland. For more information, visit their website. (linked under the recourses section on this page)

These events are definitely a once-a-year experience, but don’t prioritize attending them. Our main priority as humanity on earth should be protecting earth. If you’re unable to partake in even these small tasks, spend some time educating yourself on our planet’s wellbeing and conservation efforts being employed to secure the health of earth. Remember, you can always make a difference, big or small- and our planet will always appreciate it.