The first Earth Day was the brainchild of the Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Back in the 1970s, there was a rise of environmental consciousness in the United States, and to capitalize on this new movement, Earth Day was created. Since its creation, its goal has been to increase public awareness of environmental issues in the world. The first Earth Day was celebrated in the US on April 22, 1970, and has continued to be recognized as a national holiday every April 22nd since.
One of the biggest events on Earth Day is the several marches and rallies that are held throughout the country aimed at fighting some of the world’s biggest environmental issues, like climate change. However, as the United States continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, and most states are still under strict stay-at-home orders, this holiday will surely look a bit different from the ones of the past. Luckily, there are other ways to help celebrate the day without having to leave your house.
What can you do to help the earth?
There are many simple things we as people of the planet can do to help preserve our natural wonders. Whether it’s ditching single-use plastics to opt for reusables or taking public transportation, we can still pledge to slightly alter our lives to better the world around us.
As Floridians, the beach is extremely important to summer plans, but the National Ocean Service estimates about 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. With that rate, our sandy beaches will be covered with more pieces of trash than tourists. While it doesn’t feel like a lot, switching from plastic water bottles to reusable cups can be an easy start for anyone looking to lower that number. And, there are a plethora of options for water bottles that have bonuses like insulation for keeping your drink cooler than the plastic alternative.
As humans continue to urbanize and build, the cost is wooded areas and forests. However, trees are an extremely important aspect of keeping us alive. They contribute oxygen for us to breathe, and even the smallest trees can provide coverage and shade. Shade is important; it can keep us out of the sun if we’re outside but also having mature trees around the house can help cool your home. If your home is in the shade and cooler, this helps lower your electric bill because you’re using less energy to keep your house cool in the Florida summer. Without having to even leave your house, there are several websites that either plant a tree in a loved one’s honor or send you a seedling to plant for Earth Day.
Some other quick things to do for Earth Day include giving old clothes to thrift stores instead of throwing them away, donating to a local green organization or writing a letter to your representative on how or why you want to see your town more environmentally friendly. Also as COVID-19 is still a threat, there’s an Earth Day Live three day Livestream you can tune into like a virtual rally.
If nothing else, using Earth Day as a day to go outside and enjoy the sun with friends or family you’re quarantining with is a great way to properly celebrate the holiday.
By Anastasia Sims