Earth Day is Every Day

- By: Safia Ohlson

Earth Day is Every Day

For us, every day is Earth Day. Our planet, which is 24,901 miles in circumference and 4.54 billion years old, gives us everything.

Humans have certainly given earth a hard time, with our wars, plastic pollution, and carbon footprint. The official Earth Day, which is this Friday, April 22, began as a political movement, conceived in the 1960s by Senator Gaylord Nelson, who observed that environmental issues were not being addressed politically. Moved by a devastating oil spill near Santa Barbara, California in 1969, the senator was inspired by Vietnam War protests to organize a nationwide grassroots demonstration promoting conservation involvement and awareness.

Nelson's demonstration was set for April 22, 1970. It purposefully fell between Spring break and final exams in the hope that college students would participate. About 20 million Americans showed their support, and it soon became the first official Earth Day. 

Now, over half a century after the first Earth Day, the campaign has gone international. A 1990 demonstration mobilized 200 million people in 141 countries, according to the Earth Day Network, and it gave major attention to environmental concerns, such as recycling. Approximately one billion people in 190 countries recognize Earth Day each year. It always falls on April 22, a nod to the first official demonstration.

Here are some simple but powerful adjustments we can make to be a better friend to our amazing planet.

Buy fewer things. Quality over quantity. Be selective, vote with your dollar, go organic, and support sustainable businesses.

Go meatless. Vegetarian and vegan diets are easier on the planet. While it might not be personally feasible to dive into the veg lifestyle 100%, omitting meat one or two times a week makes a difference in our individual carbon footprints.

Plant your garden. Grow some of your own food – it’s a great way to be outdoors and learn to appreciate what organic farmers do to put food on our tables.

Plant a tree. If you don’t have the space at your house or if you rent, you can support organizations like Tree Sisters who will plant one for you.

Plastic-free self-care. Single-use plastics are a real problem. Choose products in non-plastic packaging whenever possible

Happy Earth Day!  Now get out there and enjoy this gorgeous, wild planet.