As April rolls into its second half, the events attached to it arrive as well. April Fool’s Day, April Showers, and, of course, the largest nonreligious observance in the world: Earth Day.
According to earthday.org, Earth Day was established in 1970 to give “a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet.” Before Earth Day, America and many other countries were wantonly using fossil fuels and other highly-polluting fuel sources, trading long term consequences for short-term gratification.
Earth Day 1970 had given a banner for people in America to unite under, with 10 million people marching in its name. This arousal of the masses managed to compel the US government to pass various environmental laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.
At Earth Day 1990, Earth Day went global, with 184 countries and 200 million people from all across the world rising to help, almost 20 times as many people from 20 years prior. This assisted the international effort to have recycling increase. This eventually led to the UN’s Rio Summit in 1992, also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, which addressed the many environmental problems arising on Earth.
Earth Day today is now observed by more than one billion people around the globe, many of them Millennials and Generation Z. As climate change worses, the concerns raised by Earth Day 1970 are reoccurring, only on a much larger scale. People all around the world are agitated and are demanding a more permanent change.
But while we demand for any government to start churning its gears and getting into motion, there are many things that we, in our community, can do. The conscious effort to place plastic in the recycling is nice, but there are many things that cannot be safely recycled, such as batteries and lightbulbs, and many people simply throw them out. However, there are many places that gladly accept these types of items for free and repurpose those materials for their own uses.
With our ability to communicate far better than in the past, more and more people are becoming aware of the state of this planet, triggering more protests and demands for the salvation of our planet, and as a community, we can cause big enough waves for people to notice.