Article by Natalia Maikranz
April 22nd will mark the 48th Earth Day to be celebrated around the world. This landmark day is one of the most celebrated secular holidays involving over one billion people in 192 countries. In the past five decades Earth Day has inspired millions of people to fight for environmental safety and justice, bringing important environmental issues to the forefront of the conversation. Throughout the years much has been accomplished through Earth Day festivities, but there is still work to be done as climate change continues to threaten the safety of the planet we celebrate.
Earth Day was created in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Democrat who desired to bring a greater awareness of the treatment of the environment in the United States. He once said “Environment is all of America and its problems. It is rates in the ghetto. It is a hungry child in a land of affluence. It is housing that is not worthy of the name; neighborhoods not fit to inhabit”. His work helped to foster a growing love and appreciation for the environment in the United States that eventually inspired countries around the world to celebrate the Earth not only on April 22nd but every day.
In the wake of climate change and the many environmental problems it has caused, Earth Day is a perfect time to speak out about this pressing issue. Over the last decade Earth has experienced 13 of its 15 hottest days on record. We have seen wild fires that have laid waste to land across California. Hurricanes and tropical storms ripped through Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida leaving behind billions of dollars of damage. These horrifying disasters are the reason why Earth Day this year is crucial to bringing about change that can help mitigate and reverse the devastating effects of climate change.
Earth Day this year offers a great opportunity to make personal, national, and international change. There are small everyday changes people can make to help protect the environment. Such changes include, cutting meat out of one meal a week, using reusable grocery bags, and commuting to work with friends or taking public transportation. While these small changes can help make a difference, brining awareness to friends, family members, and policy makers is also crucial in reversing the tide of climate change. This Earth Day and all the Earth Days to come represent a chance to help protect the only planet we have.
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