Yesterday, on Wednesday the 22nd April 2020, it was Earth Day. I hope you all had it in your calendars because I didn’t! This is something I’m a bit ashamed of; I try to live my life with as little impact on the Earth as possible, I’ve taken two carbon footprint tests in the past 3 months, recycle, compost food, buy clothes from charity shops, shop zero waste and read about climate change and other environmental issues. The reality is, there is too much to keep up with; from conservation to renewable energy, I’ve barely scratched the surface and most of the things I hear through the news or social media.
There was a time when going green was something only a few people did and being an eco-warrior was cause for a lot of eye-rolling and was generally portrayed as being for people who had dreadlocks or dressed in baggy trousers. Now though, there is real pressure on people to be more environmentally friendly because suddenly climate change has become a real thing. Shocking.
This year, Earth Day is celebrating 50 years and there would usually be a plethora of events to attend. The pandemic put a stop to this, but not to people’s efforts to shout loud about this landmark day. Even The Sims twitter account was talking about Earth Day along with Pixar, Doug the Pug and Kermit the Frog. Google used their logo to talk about bees in the most adorable cartoon game and there were also of online events all over the world for people to tune into while in lockdown.
I love that lots of people are talking about Earth Day, but what does that actually mean? What is Earth Day for?
To start with, and to quote the Earth Day Network’s twitter bio; “It’s not a day — it’s a movement.” The people behind Earth Day don’t just want this to be a once a year thing, the day is all about gathering everyone together to reduce their impact on the environment. They work with organisations in over 190 countries in the areas of plastic pollution, conservation and restoration, people and communities, science and education, people and communities and climate action. Every year they recruit more people and their work and the work of everyone wanting to help face climate change extends much further than the 24 hours set asside for Earth Day.
So many people find being environmentally friendly in some way too much to think about, but as Environmental Advocate and Youtuber, Levi Hildebrand points out, “you don’t need to be a hero to save the planet.” In a future post I want to share the mindset that I put myself in to be more environmentally friendly from a context of trying to save money and having a full time job.
On reflection, I’m not ashamed to say that I didn’t know what day Earth Day was on because I try my hardest to be environmentally friendly every day. Earth Day is just a yearly reminder that we have a lot to do, but we can do it together.
What are your thoughts on Earth Day? Did you tune in to any of the events? Let me knwo in the comments!