Catherine Gagulashvili culture editor
Vivian Geilim opinion editor
Happy birthday, Mother Earth! And thank you for everything you’ve done.
We have a tendency to commemorate annual dates. On Mother’s Day we take the day to appreciate the mothers and maternal figures in our lives. We do the same for Father’s Day, National Siblings Day and the other designated days to appreciate the important people and things in our lives. Although we honor the people and things on their respective days, we continue to more or less love, cherish and appreciate them year-round. Yet, the one national day that we fail to care about year-round is Earth Day. Every year, Earth Day comes and goes: we see Snapchat geotags commemorating the planet and we hear radio stations and news stations telling the public to pollute less or to maybe even plant a tree, but by the day’s end, very few, if any, people actually change the way they treat our planet.
Take a moment to realize where you’ve gone in the world–where you traveled, where your favorite place is: whether that’s the beach or the mountains. Earth has given that to you. Earth has given you a personal sanctuary outside of your home. And so, you would think that we would all be so grateful for the things Earth has given us. But the truth is we are not grateful. The truth is we are not taking very good care of our Mother Earth.
We are growing exponentially, every day and every year. And with this comes a proliferating growth in industrialization, pollution, rising global temperatures and so much more. Earth Day isn’t a day to commemorate our planet, but a day to look in retrospect to see how we are slowly killing it. Climate control has erupted into one of the most heated political controversies spoken of in politics, yet it’s happening. Evidently, the human race isn’t purposely doing this. We are not attempting to ruin our climate, cut our trees and pollute our waters. But it’s happening and it’s because of our choices.
Earth Day was created to demonstrate support for environmental protection, something that should be a relevant and pressing matter every single day of the year, not just on April 22. We live on a beautiful, giving planet that has been thriving up until the moment people began polluting it with harmful chemicals. Over 100 million sea animals die each year due to excess plastic in the ocean. The ozone layer is depleting, air pollution is hitting all time highs and corporations are cutting down forests. These are just some of the many examples of how our earth is deteriorating. And yet, the majority of the population only seems to care about the maltreatment of our planet on one day: today.
Earth Day should not be celebrated one day, every year. We should not have only one day designated to acknowledging everything Earth has given and continues to give us. Earth Day is simply a day to romanticize our planet without actually doing anything to fix it. Pollution and the destruction of our planet can only cease if everyone makes changes in their day-to-day lifestyle. Major corporations must acknowledge the fact that in a 100 years or so, when the Earth begins to deteriorate at a grand scale, all the money they make off selling toxic products won’t mean much because there wouldn’t be a planet to sustain their material goods. Ordinary people can make changes doing anything from being mindful of how much waste one emits, where and how they discard of that waste, recycling more frequently and being aware of toxic products that he or she uses daily.
If everyone could appreciate the Earth year-round as much as they do on Earth Day, then we would be living on a healthier, better planet. Don’t just make a reform for today. Change the way you live your life and vow to make the Earth a better place.