Spring has sprung, which means that Earth Day is right around the corner! Whether you choose to participate in a community clean-up, ride your bike to work, plant a tree, or donate to your favorite earth-friendly fund, there is no wrong way to take part! The earth is truly a fantastic place. Here are some fun Earth Day facts to help you honor and celebrate the planet we call home!
The Largest Secular Observance
Did you know that Earth Day is celebrated by over a billion people each year? That’s pretty impressive, considering this universal holiday has only been around since 1970. Earth Day was created by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in response to an oil spill off of the California coast. That first year alone, about 20 million Americans showed their support. Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world.
The Highs and The Lows
The deepest point on earth is found in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. At its lowest depth, the trench reaches 36,070 feet. This is about the equivalent of 25 Empire State Buildings stacked from end to end. On the other hand, Mt. Everest is the highest place on earth above sea level at an incredible 29,029 feet, or about 23 Empire State Buildings! That said, there is some competition from Mt. Chimborazo and Mauna Kea.
The Formation of the EPA
Earth Day resulted in the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the passing of significant environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. It just goes to show that real change can happen when people come together!
We’re Moving Fast…. Really Fast
Do you know that the earth spins at a rate of 1,000 miles per hour? However, your location on planet earth makes a big difference in how fast you’re actually moving. People near the equator are moving the fastest, while people near the north and south poles are moving much slower. But wait! That’s not all! Earth’s orbital speed, (how quickly we move around the sun,) is a whopping 67,000 miles per hour! We’re dizzy just thinking about it.
Where is All the Water?
Did you know that most of the world’s water is saline? This salty water found in our oceans makes up over 96% of the world’s water. About 90% of the earth’s freshwater is locked up in frozen polar ice! With an astounding 70% in the Antarctic cap alone. Think of all of the freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers nearby, and what a small fraction of the world’s water they contain.