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The first Earth Day helped create the system of regulations, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, that the U.S. depends upon to protect its air, water and wildlife.
But President Donald Trump celebrated the 48th Earth Day by defending his administration's efforts to rollback regulations, arguing that the rollbacks are actually better for the environment.
If you want to make a positive change this Earth Day but don't know where to start, one of best things you can do is take an honest look at your environmental footprint. For instance, how much water are you wasting? How much plastic are you throwing out? How much planet-warming carbon are you producing?
Luckily, there are many online calculators that crunch through your consumption habits. While the final tally might be daunting, it's the first step in living more sustainably.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Earth Day 2018 is focused on the all-important theme of reducing plastic litter and pollution. Of course, we shouldn't just reduce our plastic footprint, we should try to reduce waste in all shapes, sizes and forms. It's said that the average American generates a staggering 4 pounds of trash every day—but you don't have to be part of that statistic.
Here are six entirely manageable tips and tricks to help you cut waste.
At EcoWatch, every day is Earth Day. We don't just report news about the environment—we aim to make the world a better place through our own actions. From conserving water to cutting waste, here are some tips and tricks from our team on living mindfully and sustainably.
Lorraine Chow, reporter
Favorite Product: Dr. Bronner's Castile soap
By Jen Fela
We're celebrating a huge moment in the global movement for a plastic-free future: More than one million people around the world have called on big corporations to do their part to end single-use plastics.
Now we're taking the next big step. We're setting an ambitious new goal: A Million Acts of Blue.
Planet Earth is at a crisis point. Researchers say we have to begin reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 if we want to meet the temperature goals outlined in the Paris agreement and avoid catastrophic climate change.
The work to be done can seem overwhelming. A survey published this week found that only 6 percent of Americans think we will succeed in reducing global warming.
In last year's virtual reality (VR) film Melting Ice, viewers traveled with former Vice President and An Inconvenient Truth star Al Gore on a trip to Greenland to "see" and "experience" ice sheets diminishing, glaciers collapsing and melting ice becoming raging rivers.
Now, and just in time for Earth Day 2018, directors Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss have released three more, 10-minute immersive episodes in their This is Climate Change docu-series. Fire, Feast and Famine shows the powerful reality of global climate change, from California's burning blazes to drought-ridden Somalia—and you don't even need to leave your couch.
By Erik Hoffner
Denis Hayes was the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, and he took the event to the international stage in 1990. He is board chair of the international Earth Day Network, and president of the Bullitt Foundation.
Earth Day 2018 is slated for April 22 and focuses on plastic pollution, so Mongabay took the opportunity to ask him about this year's event and find out what else is on the mind of this key leader of the international environmental movement.
"Single-use plastics are a scourge on our seas and lethal to our precious environment and wildlife so it is vital we act now," Environment Secretary Michael Gove said. "We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on straws, stirrers and cotton buds to help protect our marine life."
The Earth Day Network has announced that this year's Earth Day, on Sunday, April 22, will focus on ending plastic pollution by Earth Day 2020, the 50th anniversary of the world's first Earth Day in 1970, which led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts.