Earth Day: A reminder that we need to change to protect our planet!

Thursday, April 22, marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day — a reminder that we all need to do our part to look out for Mother Earth and that our planet can only take so much. We need to take action to help combat climate change and keep our home safe for generations to come.

You, as an individual, hold the power to create small yet powerful change. We all have a carbon footprint that we need to minimize. For those of you who may not know, a carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that is generated by each individual’s (or organization, event, service, place or product’s) actions, according to The Nature Conservatory. The more each person can reduce their own carbon footprint, the less greenhouse gasses are emitted into our atmosphere.

I’ve tried to make small but important changes in my daily life to help combat climate change and protect the Earth. For example, I’ve cut out plastic straws, use reusable cups whenever possible and try to reduce my water use — yes, I know I can do even more and I am working toward expanding that list. These may be small steps I’ve taken, but nonetheless I’ve reduced my carbon footprint. And these small changes are super easy — take a shorter shower or turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth and you’ve already made a slight, but impactful change! 

This year, Earth Day is the perfect time to make a pledge. I’m planning on cutting out bottled hand soap and body wash and moving onto using bars of soap. This will cut down my plastic use and won’t interrupt my daily life, but it will certainly make a difference for our planet.

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These may be small steps I’ve taken, but nonetheless I’ve reduced my carbon footprint.

— Sara Rodia

In addition to using Earth Day to remind yourself to make some changes, use the day to celebrate the Earth as well! Go for a walk or plant some flowers —  anything that gets you out and connected with our beautiful planet. And if you can’t manage this in the middle of the week — between school and work I doubt I’ll be able to — set aside some time this weekend. I’m planning to go on a hike and just enjoy being in nature; it’s a great way to remind yourself of the simple beauty of the planet while getting some fresh air and exercise!

The importance of Earth Day increases year after year as we continue to plague our planet with greenhouse gasses, plastic waste and so much more. It’s important to recognize the day and make some change to help in the fight against climate change. However, change shouldn’t only be enacted on this one day every year — the Earth can’t afford only one day of recognition for its slowly deteriorating health. Use this day as your reminder that you need to work to promote change every day, not just once a year. Remember, there is no planet B!