Earth Day 2020 – 50th Anniversary
April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Celebrated in more than 192 countries around the world, Earth Day is an annual event whereby we show our support for protecting the environment. Events are held worldwide to raise awareness of the negative impacts our actions as humans have on our environment and the earth as a whole. Rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects are just a few of the many events that take place each year all over the world.
How much is too much?
Have you ever thought about how much trash we throw away? Despite our best efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse, there is still a ton of trash being disposed of every day. Take for example your family’s weekly trash. Have you ever looked at the amount of waste you throw away each week? Now multiply that by 52 weeks in a year. Not scary enough? Multiply it even further by 1.6 billion- that’s the estimated number of households in the world. That’s a lot of trash!
It gets worse, though. Have you ever gone to the doctor or hospital? Every time you go the doctors and nurses are putting on new gloves and masks in many cases, many times you are asked to disrobe and put on a paper gown, you sit on a table covered in paper and many times you get a shot, blood test, require a bandage or any number of things. All of this goes into the trash daily as well. Multiply this times 365 days a year. It is estimated that there are 164,500 hospitals in the world, not to mention all of the medical offices we visit daily. On top of that, there are schools, offices, auto repair shops, grocery and retail stores- the list goes on and on. The amount of trash we throw away on a daily, weekly and yearly basis is outrageous!
What can we do to help?
Aside from what we may already do to reduce waste and recycle what we can, we need to do more. With the current Coronavirus upon us, I’m noticing more trash being carelessly thrown on the ground, such as gloves and masks. I see fast food containers strewn along the roadside, cigarette butts outside stores at intersections and gum everywhere, from parking lots to under tables and desks. The ground and the Earth is not your trash receptacle! Use a trash can for goodness sake. Below are some additional ways you can help the planet and reduce the amount of trash ending up in landfills as well as beautify the Earth. What can you think of to help?
- Clean up a beach, river or canal.
- Plant a tree. (No mulch volcanos)
- Buy reusable grocery bags and use them.
- Walk or ride a bike when possible.
- Use a reusable water bottle.
- Shop local, especially at Farmer’s Markets.
- Stop using plastic straws.
- Avoid using disposable plates and utensils.
- Conserve water and other utilities.
- Put your trash in the garbage can.
If Captain Planet were here, he’d tell us:
Above all, do your part to reduce waste, but most importantly, educate your children and others. The more people know about Earth Day and the efforts put forth to reduce environmental damage, the more issues will be resolved, protecting the earth for generations to come. Make this 50th anniversary of Earth Day one to remember for years to come. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Tell us in the comments how you are doing your part to help the earth. Happy Earth Day 2020 everyone! “The Power is Yours!” (Captain Planet)