Earth Day: celebrating our natural world

22 Apr 2016

The 46th Earth Day is upon us today (22 April), with Google getting behind the initiative with a selection of celebratory Doodles.

Following on from a company post lauding what the tech industry can do for the environment, Google has now gotten behind Earth Day with a variety of Doodles that will appear on browsers in almost every country.

Usually separating their Doodles into different regions, Earth Day is clearly a global draw, so the ‘reach’ of the Doodle is almost as big as it gets.

The event was started by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, in the early days of climate change understanding.

In its first iteration, it was an attempt to educate students at universities in the US about the effects of the climate change humans were causing, but it has since expanded to 196 different countries across the world, with events being organised by the Earth Day Network.

Sophie Diao is the designer behind Google’s latest Doodle, saying the inspiration for her five graphics were Earth’s five major biomes: the tundra, forest, grasslands, desert and coral reefs.

“In each illustration, you’ll find one animal who’s been singled out for their 15 minutes of fame,” she said, with a polar bear, a fox, an elephant, a tortoise and an octopus featured.

Aquatic:Ocean, Coral Reef and Octopus Earth Day Desert and Tortoise Earth Day Grasslands and Elephant Earth Day Tundra and Polar Bear Earth Day Forest and Red Fox Earth Day

Google has highlighted the various ways in which it can “help you reduce your everyday emissions and learn more about preserving our world”. One of these – and perhaps the best known – is Project Sunroof.

Project Sunroof was first unveiled in August of last year. The initiative used the technology behind Google Maps and Google Earth to determine whether installing solar panels on the roof of your building would be worth your while, even estimating your potential energy savings if you did.

Other things, like monitoring wildlife, forests and greenhouse gases are also examples of the company’s use of tech for environmental good.

Here are some awe-inspiring GIFs to get you in the Earth Day mood.

Main nature image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic