How Earth Day is celebrated globally

By Eric Wright

Vertebrate populations have decreased in size by 60% since 1970, 18 million acres of forests are cleared each year, and the Arctic ice melting at an alarming rate. The protection of our planet is now more important than ever, and appreciation of the natural world seems to be something that we as humans are finding hard to grasp, as we continually mistreat the most precious thing we have. It's time that we start to defend the oasis we live in, which provides our food, water, and air, and we need to learn to share our world with the all the other living creatures that inhabit it.

Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970, as a way to increase consciousness about environmental concerns by founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. In 1969, after a brutal oil spill wreaked havoc in Santa Barbara, California, Senator Nelson pushed for a "national teach-in on the environment," which eventually led to events all across the U.S. and 20 million Americans taking to the streets to display support for a sustainable environment.

Since then, the global situation has continued to deteriorate, as yet more wildlife habitats are lost forever, and pollution reaches terrifying levels. It's time for us to abandon our destructive ways and take responsibility to create a planet that can be a haven for both us and the thousands of wonderful living species that we share it with. It may seem a great challenge for us today as climate change lays waste to our small blue and green planet, but Earth Day is the perfect way for us to stand together in unison for the most important thing we have—Earth, our home.

Explore with us, as we find out how Earth Day is celebrated around the globe.

1. New York, U.S.

Earth Day's main aim is to educate people about our global environmental problems, and the rally in New York offers the chance to connect with companies using green initiatives, as well as learn more about environmental campaigns and green travel. The event is one of the biggest outdoor Earth Day celebrations and takes place in Union Square—comprised of festive events, live music, and ecological food trucks, all while raising awareness of the fragile state of our environment.

The 5-kilometer, eco-friendly walking tour is a great way to discover ecology schools and state-of-the-art waste and recycling centers, while the New York Botanical Garden showcases live music performances, parades, and tours that highlight the urgency to protect the world's plant species.

2. London, U.K.

Between Tuesday, April 16, and Monday, April 29, the Neoclassical Somerset House opens its doors with a two-week program that allows the public to enjoy interactive events and large-scale installations created by some of the best artists around the world. During the program, visitors will be able to discover ways to combat climate change, promote sustainable living, and attend family workshops.

Some of this year's highlights include exhibits such as a Dystopian vision of a future without humans; a flag and audio commission on the roof exploring the voice of the natural elements; and a large scale LED installation that brings together the voices of international activists, philosophers, and poets.

3. Sydney, Australia

For Earth Day 2019, Sydney is holding an incredible 24,901-mile challenge where event organizers will find out how many times participants can run the entire length of the equator. The challenge needs 415 participants to run at least 2 miles each day in April to make the distance around the equator at least once—calling all runners, joggers, and walkers!

Sydney will also have experts in clean energy talk about how companies and technology impact the condition of the planet. These experts in clean energy and environmental entrepreneurship will share their insights into how industries have an impact on the environment on April 23 at The Podium Building on Market Street.

4. Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park in Tokyo sees over 100,000 Earth-conscious people gather each year to learn how to live more sustainably from various NPOs and speakers. Earth-conscious artists and musicians perform in the park over the weekend and visitors can find plenty of organic products and local business' explaining their respective green initiatives. One of the highlights of the celebration is the Tokyo Vegetarian Festival, which offers delicious, ecologically-sourced food.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Canada's "Party for the Planet" takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the City Hall Plaza in Surrey, where three stages offer live music and performances. For the kids, there's the Earth Day Pilgrimage to Burns Bog on Sunday, April 28, where more performers sing, dance, and drum as they walk through the gorgeous Delta Nature Reserve. This year, the free outdoor event features keynote speakers, poetry recitals, and music from the Susan Summers and the Sacred Web Singers, as well as Aline LaFlamme and the Daughters of the Drum.

Curious how you can give back this Earth Day? Hop on over to our recent post to find out where to volunteer this year!

Get ready for Earth Day: Where to volunteer, how to give back, and more

By Alexis Vega

On April 22, 1970, millions of people in the U.S. took to the streets to call for action on the environmental issues of the time. It was the first time society took part in pro-Earth demonstrations, and this event led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

The movement started spreading across the world in the 1990s, as global ecological awareness grew. Today, over 1 billion people from 192 countries join in annually, which makes it the largest civic observance in the world.

Why do we celebrate Earth Day?

There is an undeniable connection between nature and all living beings; Earth is our home! We celebrate Earth Day as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship with our planet and with nature, and it gives us a chance to bring awareness to important environmental issues and inspire change.

Earth Day 2019

This year's theme is "Protect Our Species." Human beings have irrevocably altered the balance in nature by destroying and reducing plant and wildlife population. This has happened by deforestation, pollution, poaching, and more—all without acknowledging the value and unique role of each and every living being.

We are now dealing with an alarming rate of extinction, and we must work hard to protect endangered species. Bees, elephants, giraffes, whales, and coral reefs play an essential role in the survival of the ecosystem and therefore in our survival.

Although this might sound discouraging, the good news is we can still do so much to help. Every big change starts small, and if we work together as a global collective, we will be able to make a difference.

How to give back

1. Do your research: Keep yourself informed; information leads to better decisions.

2. Spread the word: The more people who are aware, the more people can take action.

3. Encourage individual and group actions for the environment and wildlife

We've also compiled a list of ways for you to support the environment in your day-to-day life:

  • Plant flowers, trees, and gardens
  • Collect trash from beaches and nature reserves
  • Recycle and avoid single-use plastics
  • Avoid making outdoor fires
  • Use detergents, soaps, and cleaning products that are biodegradable and eco-friendly
  • Adopt a plant-based diet
  • Grow your own food or buy locally-grown food
  • Walk or cycle more
  • Respect protected areas
  • Avoid touristic activities that support animal exploitation
  • Report hurt or sick animals to the authorities, as well as illegal trade
  • Abstain from buying products made with endangered species or parts of them (fur, leather, ivory, etc.)
  • Use cruelty-free products (not tested on animals)
  • Support sustainable fishing
  • Use oxybenzone-free sunscreens
  • Petition the government for better laws
  • Support local NGOs and volunteer
  • Travel green (accommodations with minimal carbon footprint)

Where to volunteer

Volunteering is one of the best ways to give back, and there are many great projects going on across the U.S, Canada, and the rest of the world. We've compiled a selection below where your helping hands, hearts, and minds are needed.

U.S and Canada

  • Wild West Wildlife is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in the Texas Panhandle.

  • Marine Animal Rescue Society is dedicated to the conservation of marine animals in South Florida.

  • Last Chance for Animals is a Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation, with a variety of campaigns from banning live export and puppy mills to supporting veganism.

  • Earth Law Center is a New York-based non-profit that works to transform the law to recognize and protect nature's inherent rights to exist, thrive, and evolve.

  • Wildlife Rescueis an organization that aims to save wild animals through its network of rehabilitators and wildlife rescue centers across Ontario.

  • Nature Conservancy Canada is a non-profit that focuses on conserving natural areas and biological diversity all across Canada.

Rest of the world

Volunteering in places like Costa Rica, Thailand, or South Africa sounds appealing, but having so many options to choose from can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are companies that can help you arrange everything and guide you through the process.

  • International Volunteer HQ works with wildlife and environmental conservation organizations on all five continents and offers a great range of affordable volunteering programs, including eco-agricultural and marine conservation, as well as animal welfare and animal rights.

  • GoEco is an eco-tourism company that provides a varied selection of volunteer projects abroad. Whether you want to volunteer for animal conservation or teaching, they will find the perfect fit for you.

  • Go Overseas offers wildlife and rainforest conservation programs all over the world that are both enriching and life-changing experiences.

Glamping Hub can help you travel green, thanks to our plethora of eco-friendly rentals in the U.S., the U.K., and beyond!

Earth Day, Ecotourism, and What You Can Do to Help

By Kyomi Wade

Without nature, one of the four pillars of Glamping Hub's core values would crumble—which is why we, as a business, both respect and appreciate every aspect of it. This month, as Earth Day approaches on April 22, we are taking the opportunity to help spread the word about its aims and complex subject of ecotourism.

Glamping Hub will be donating 10% of the day's revenue to the official Earth Day Network and have launched a Green Pledge with the full support of the company's senior management.

Photo courtesy Earth Day Network

What is ecotourism?

As you begin to understand the principles of ecotourism, it is easy to immediately be thrown off by the industry's technical jargon. Eco-friendly, responsible tourism, conscious travel, and green tourism are just a few of the larger list of terms that are regularly used in an interchangeable way.

But we have good news for you! The majority of these definitions unify to support quite a simple ethos: protecting and respecting local culture, adopting environmentally-friendly practices, and economically supporting local communities in a sustainable way.

We particularly like the definition of Ecotourism coined by the director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at Harvard, Epler Wood: "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” For example, it might be easier to think of conserving the natural wonders of our earth as ecotourism—which it is—but equally so is making sure that the locals are economically benefiting from tourism.

The travel industry has the opportunity to provide education, job/career creation, and development for local communities. However, due to what is referred to as "tourism leakage," sometimes only a mere 10% of money is going back to the local community. Your contribution as a conscious traveler can be awareness when traveling, choosing to spend your money at local businesses whenever possible.

Earth Day and making a difference

This year, Earth Day is calling each and every one of us to pledge to end plastic pollution, one of the most important environmental problems that we face today and one that we have contributed to greatly—whether knowingly or not. Did you know that 300 million tons of plastic are sold each year and that 90% of that is thrown away? The opportunity to tackle this is huge, and with your input we can really make a difference.

But why should you care about plastic pollution? The issue with plastic is that the amount of plastic we create is essentially here forever. To put it into perspective, one single plastic bottle, though it may decompose, takes close to 500 years to fully do so. Moreover, although it breaks down, it still remains in our soil and water, affecting our crops, ocean life, and ourselves.

When plastic decomposes in the ocean for example, it breaks down into small poisonous particles, microplastics, that are then swallowed by ocean life and, later, humans. As if this wasn't enough reason for concern, the energy it takes to simply create plastic creates omissions that catalyze climate change. Therefore, if we think about how much plastic we use on a daily basis, pledging to recycle or cut down on usage seems like a small feat to combating climate change and protecting the health of both our sea life and ourselves.

What you can do and our pledge

Thanks to our wonderful and proactive Glamping Hub Green Initiative Team, we have already started to take steps as a business to reduce our waste and recycle. We have developed a system to educate our office on what goes where, making the process of recycling easier for everyone. Currently, we can are recycling plastic, cans, paper, glass, and batteries.

Continuing the green theme and our support of Earth Day on April 22, we pledge to not use plastic bottles, bags, and straws for the whole month of April. We have also organized fundraising initiatives to add to our contribution.

If you're wondering what you can do to help out starting today, let us be of assistance. Begin by reading some easy-to-implement tips on traveling green. If you are a traveler, you may or may not know that 2017 was the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and a very useful resource is their "Tips For a Responsible Traveler" guide, from the #travelenjoyrespect campaign, which you can find here.

You can also sign the Earth Day petition to end plastic pollution. The petition calls on governments and world leaders to take note of the severity of plastic pollution. Your signature would make a world of a difference in showing those in charge that we, the people of planet Earth. You can find the petition here!

Lastly, you can book your next glamping trip with peace of mind! As mentioned above, Glamping Hub will be donating 10% of revenue made on Earth Day, April 22, to the official Earth Day Network. You can plan your perfect getaway knowing that you are simultaneously making a pledge to protect our earth.

Want to browse some beautiful, eco-friendly properties on Glamping Hub? Start exploring here!

We hope that by Glamping Hub pledging to make internal changes, we have made you think about your relationship with our planet. Though we don’t yet consider ourselves to be a fully eco-friendly company, we hope you will join us in our journey to do so,one step at a time!