April 22nd will mark the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. As we get closer to this holiday, I’ve been contemplating the changes the pandemic has had on the environment. While traditional Earth Day events range from cleanups to events that focus on the environment, with social distancing still in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital.
More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the world’s largest civic observance. I recently saw a study from the National Institutes of Health that found the shutdowns of travel — local, as in cars, and global, as in planes and boats — has improved air quality in different cities across the world. Greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution have been reduced, too.