Since April 22, 1970, an event is held each year at the same time to celebrate our environment and to commit to what we can do to protect it for the future. Events are held worldwide with the theme this year being “Invest in Our Planet.” More than a billion people are involved in 193 different countries according to earthday.org that somehow attempts to coordinate it all. Certainly the publicity surrounding the many events and the public conversations that result have raised awareness of the state of our environment around the planet.
Young people take the lead on environmental concerns. Schools and clubs have activities organized around the Earth Day date. Trash is picked up along roads and stream banks leaving us to wonder why previous focus on the condition of our environment has not resulted in everyone disposing of their trash appropriately. Others make posters and signs and gather for protests at some governmental or environmental spot.
I am thankful for those who demonstrate their concerns about the environment in whatever way. Certainly the Chesapeake Bay is getting cleaner, and the air quality has improved at least in our region stemming from actions taken with the heightened awareness of and concern about the quality of our environment. Much, much more needs to be done, however.
Individuals can and must make a difference. We can recycle in a serious way by making sure we know how to recycle different materials, purchasing products that have the least amount of waste, choose our energy sources that produce the least amount of greenhouse gasses, and do these and more in a way that our families and our neighbors know that we are on board with contributing to a clean environment every day and not just on a holiday. Let’s make every day Earth Day.
Our individual actions are critically important, but they alone will not sustain our planet. The problem is greater than we sometimes allow ourselves to realize. Latest scientific findings indicate that the earth is warming and sea level is rising at a rate greater than had been expected before and that sustaining life as we have known it may have a future shorter than ever before projected.
We have important choices we can make to keep Earth Day and our planet alive. First, every time you have an opportunity to vote be sure to vote for candidates at whatever level of government who are committed to serious and meaningful actions that help to clean up and keep clean and livable our planet. Second, make your consumer choices wisely dealing only with businesses and manufacturers that have policies and take actions that protect our environment. Celebrate every day as Earth Day and be happy that you are helping to make a difference.
I think the leaders of Earth Day 2023 expressed it most clearly: “Get inspired. Take action. Be part of the green revolution. For Earth Day 2023 we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), implement (equitably). Businesses, governments, and citizens—everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet!”