Earth is a beautiful and the only planet where the human race can survive. But it is threatened by rapid industrialization, pollution and the resultant climate change, leading to catastrophic flooding, rise in sea level, and destruction of habitations. So, to raise awareness for protecting the planet that has so far protected us, the Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year. More than a billion people take part in it globally.

The event started in 1970, when an American senator organized a national rally to raise awareness about environmental issues. It gave voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet and by 1990, Earth Day was an event celebrated by more than 140 countries around the globe. It gave a huge boost to recycling efforts and paved the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Individuals can contribute to help reduce greenhouse gases to protect the environment.

Following are the ideas that can help save the planet, irrespective of the time and year:

1. First and foremost, conserve water. Turn off the water tap while you’re brushing, shaving or doing any other work. Stop drinking bottled water and switch to filtered tap water to reduce plastic waste.

2. Become a Waste Warrior. A plastic bottle can take over 450 years to decompose in a landfill, so try recycling it. Also, waste generation can be controlled by buying things smartly, by reducing consumption to only whatever is needed, not desired.

3. Pledge to use energy efficient bulbs to reduce greenhouse gas emission. This will also save money in electricity bills and curb pollution.

4. Plant a tree to offset the loss of vegetation due to industrialization or otherwise around the globe. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Depending on where trees are planted, they can even reduce the need for air-conditioning in summer months.

5. If possible, stay off the road for at least two days a week and prefer walking or taking public transport services to your destinations. If you must use a private vehicle, try to hitch a ride or maintain your car on a regular basis to improve its efficiency.

6. Eat sustainable foods. Choose food from farmers that aim to conserve the natural resources and have as little impact on the land as possible. Increase intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and reduce consumption of red meats and processed foods.

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