“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Happy Earth Day! One of my favorite things about this holiday is that it connects every person in the world. We all live on the same planet, which sadly many of us tend to forget. Earth Day is not only a day to bring awareness towards environmental protection and activism, but it is also a day to reflect on how far we have come.
Here are some environmental actions we have taken in the past decade to protect our planet:
- 2009: President George W. Bush created the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument, which was a victory for marine life conservation
- 2012: Washington State’s Elwha dams were removed and restored a wild river
- 2015: Countries around the world joined together and signed the Paris Agreement (the U.S. has since pulled out)
- 2019: President Trump signed a law that made two million acres of land protected across the U.S.
As we look back on our past victories, it is time to look forward towards what we can do on both an individual and community level to support environmental protection. As Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank said, “We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences.”
Here are 10 things you can do right now to protect and support Earth:
- Pick up one piece of trash. If everyone picked up one piece of trash today, 7.6 billion pieces of trash would not make it into our oceans. Think about that impact and the ten seconds of effort it would take. It’s hard to fathom. So pick up a piece of trash today, or why not five pieces to make a greater difference.
- Share a credible environmental article on social media. Knowledge is power, and the more people talk about the environment, the more we can push for educated and science-based solutions. Take the time to find a credible article about the environment that is backed by science, not opinions. When you share on social media, you are promoting environmental education within your community.
- Say “no” to plastic today. If you have been on the fence about if you want to remove single-use plastic from your lifestyle, try it for Earth Day. Even if you just did it today, that plastic you refrained from still makes a difference.
- Take a walk. Studies have shown that walking in nature boosts endorphins which improves your mood and reduces stress. Even if it’s a ten minute walk, take a mindful walk in nature today. Admire our world, the beautiful trees that provide us with oxygen. The animals, from biggest to smallest, that play a key role in their ecosystem. It’s important on Earth Day to remember your connection to the earth, and this action can have a huge impact on you.
- Find environment protection you connect to. Do you love marine life? The mountains? Wolves? We can all find something we connect to that benefits under environmental protection. Find that passion, and find out how you can support it. If it is mountains, learn about a national park and steps you can take to help protect it. Join a community, sign a petition, donate to a cause. Spark your passion through environmental work.
- Have a Meatless Monday. Refrain from eating meat today, and you will save 5 pounds of CO2, 2,000 gallons of water, and 2 animals.
- Turn out the lights when you leave a room. Save energy and money.
- Turn the water off when you brush your teeth. If you do this everyday for a year, you will have filled eight bathtubs!
- Shop with a reusable bag. Take it one step further and shop at your local farmer’s market to support your local community and reduce the amount of carbon emissions it takes for your food to travel to you.
- Be conscious that you’re a global citizen. Global citizenship is “the idea that all people have rights and civic responsibilities that come with being a member of the world, with whole-world philosophy and sensibilities, rather than as a citizen of a particular nation or place.” What we do everyday makes an impact, and the more mindful we are of our impact the better our earth is protected. It does not matter where or who you are, we are all connected through our planet and it is our responsibility to care for it in every way we can.
No matter what steps you take today on Earth Day, remember that each positive action is a step in the right direction. The climate crisis can seem daunting, but the more action, education, and activism are taken, we can be the generation to change the course our planet is currently on. Remember, baby steps are still steps.
“If not me, who? If not now, when?” -Emma Watson
One thought on “10 Ways You Can Make a Difference On Earth Day”
not only on earth day, we can make these differences EVERY day!