Why Earth Day Should Be Every Day
The fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day was Thursday, April 22. It is a day that everyone can, and should, celebrate. Earth is the only planet with perfect conditions for sustaining life.
It is gifted with optimal water, oxygen, atmosphere, and sunlight. All of this is made possible because of the 93-million-mile distance from the sun, 23.5-degree tilt, one-year orbit, and one-day orbit on its axis. This perfection calls for a day of both appreciation and action. Action needs to be taken because of current global issues. The pandemic brought to light the close relationship between humans, animals, and nature. It is important to consider potential future diseases after the threat of Covid dwindles to promote the overall well-being of our planet.
According to the UN Environment Programme, a new infectious disease surfaces every four months, out of which seventy-five percent are caused by animals. The increase in contact between humans and animals increases the chances of rapidly spreading pathogens. Thus, we are inextricably linked in this complex ecosystem. To prevent this, we need to avoid disrupting nature with deforestation, land-use change, and illegal wildlife trade. Although it is difficult for us to directly minimize these activities, we can raise awareness about them, and Earth Day is the perfect opportunity.
In addition to these larger issues, there are many smaller acts that we can perform daily to promote the overall well-being of our planet. What are some examples of these acts? Fellow students on campus have some ideas. Demi Adeniran ’23 suggests “avoiding getting printed out receipts when you buy stuff to help save trees.” It is more convenient to get emailed receipts, which can always be accessed via smartphone. Ivy Sun ’24 recommends “picking up litter from a local beach or park with a few friends.” Although this act is seemingly minor, it is actually immensely effective for the health of our community. Litter poses a threat to animals’ health because of the danger that they may digest it. Each year, over nine billion tons of litter end up in the ocean. This causes pollution for aquatic animals, some of which we may later consume. Sam Cherry ’23 suggests that “everyone should try [to] plant something.” Planting trees is important for numerous reasons. One of the most important reasons is to continue protecting animals. Trees provide both food and protection for some animals. Humans need to make up for the extensive intrusion in animals’ lives. The least we can do is more plant trees to increase biodiversity.
In addition to these efforts proposed by Hopkins peers, there are many more precautions that we can take to preserve and improve our community to celebrate Earth Day every day!