The first ever Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. Today marks 50 years of Earth Day. This day is recognized by over 193 countries presently. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is Climate Action. “The enormous challenge – but also the vast opportunities – of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.” (source)
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Earth Day has gone digital.
There are plenty of virtual events to attend this year if you would like to get involved or educated on what Earth Day is all about. For environmentalists, it’s a bit disheartening to see how quick people responded to COVID-19. Especially when comparing it to the response on climate change. A virus has lowered emissions more than any policy put in place. On this day, civil society organizers hope to fill the world’s digital landscape with global conversations, positive acts, performances, webinars and events urging support on climate change. Click here to visit a directory of digital Earth Day events.
Due to the lowered emissions from COVID-19, now is a great time for a fresh start. It is time corporations, leaders and regular people like you or I come together. Will this be the lesson everyone needed to take climate change seriously? I hope so. Seeing clear canals in Venice, clear skies over the Himalayan mountains, etc. has really opened my eyes to a new normal. Why can this not be our normal? It is extremely sad to see people shocked by clear waters, pollution-free air – should that not be our normal?
Most people I speak to think they can not do much for the planet. They believe Global leaders and corporations should be the only one taking action. Although, they should but so should you! Each action everyone takes, no matter how small, adds up to this massive amount of change you would not believe. For example, adjusting your thermostat 2 degrees up in the summer and 2 degrees down in the winter, can save up to 2000lbs of carbon dioxide per year! Huge change when you take in the annual change of such a simple action.
5 simple things you can do right now to play your part:
Reduce Phantom Electricity – this is pretty simple. Unplug anything when you are not using it (as much as possible). You would be surprised by how much phantom electricity your electronics are consuming even when not in use.
Liven up your place with indoor plants – certain indoor plants can reduce 87% of the indoor air pollutants within 24 hours. Here are 10 of the best indoor plants to invest in.
Recycling blindly = lots of damage! Properly recycle or just toss it in the garbage if you can not be bothered. Believe it or not, recycling the wrong materials can harm the environment. It decreases efficiency, potential damage to equipment at facilities, contamination of recyclable materials, etc. Check your local rules to prevent the damage.
Eating less meat. Meat production is one of the most environmentally destructive industries. This does not mean you need to cut out meat 100% but lessening your consumption is extremely helpful. This could mean going from eating meat in every meal to once a day or a couple times a week.
As mentioned above, adjust your thermostat 2 degrees up in the summertime and 2 degrees down in the winter. The amount of carbon dioxide you would save is huge. I even try to turn off my thermostat completely when I can go without.
Do what you can!
In the end, do what you can. No matter how small, everything helps. Change the simple things first and then start challenging yourself. Happy Earth Day earthlings! Do one thing today you can be proud of yourself for.