On April 22 of every year, people around the world celebrate Earth Day. The event was created to celebrate the environment and raise public awareness about pollution. The day is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities, and service projects.
“Earth Day is a special day to remember how important our home is. It is an opportunity to reflect and to act,” junior Delaney Dopp said.
The idea for Earth Day was proposed by former Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and the first Earth Day was in 1970. After seeing the damage done by a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Nelson was inspired to organize a national “teach-in” that focused on educating the public about the environment.
In 1990, Earth Day went global and 200 million people in 141 countries participated in the event, according to the Earth Day Network. Earth Day 2000 included 5,000 environmental groups throughout 184 countries.
In 1995, former President Bill Clinton awarded Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being the founder of Earth Day. This is the highest honor given to civilians in the United States.
Each year, corporations and activists create new projects, initiatives, and campaigns to protect and restore the Earth. There are many things to promote Earth Day and help the environment even during this pandemic.
If you have access to a yard, or even a window box, now is the perfect time to plant a garden. A small herb garden is easy to grow and maintain, and provides fresh flavors for your future dishes. Learning about the plants and animals that live in your area can keep you educated on what is surrounding you. If possible, you can donate to local and global charities that promote protecting the environment.
“Every small action makes a big impact, thus some small things anyone can do are carpool/walk more, switch off lights in rooms you aren’t in, recycle, take shorter showers, and unplug electronics that aren’t in use. Some things you can do that involve money are buying thrifted clothes, planting a garden, and buying local fruits and veggies. One factor that contributes a ton to rising carbon emissions is meat/dairy consumption. Dairy products and meat especially take a lot of water and land to make, so having just one vegetarian/vegan meal a day can make such a big difference. Lastly, it’s always important to educate yourself on environmentally sustainable brands so make sure you do your research before buying foods or clothes,” ECO club co-president senior Akshitha Viswanathan said.
Learn and remind yourself about ways you can help the environment around the house such as turning off your faucet when not in use, buying a reusable water bottle instead of drinking from plastic ones, ditching plastic straws, and carpooling when possible. These few, small things could have a tremendous and positive impact on the environment that will ultimately create a better planet for years to come.