One of the things we all have in common as citizens of Earth is our dependence on the it and on fully functioning ecosystems. Earth Day is about making sure that we can continue to depend on these processes, both for their intrinsic and their economic value. In the age of climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, an age scientists have literally termed the anthropocene, which means “the age of the human”, Earth Day is more important than ever.
So this Earth Day, get out and take action for our planet! There are a number of things you can do to celebrate our home planet on April 22nd. One of the biggest events taking place this year, and one which will be receiving a great deal of media coverage, is the March for Science. Organizers are gathering in Washington D.C., New York City, and all over the world to show their support for science and for using scientific research as a basis for decisionmaking. Currently, I am studying at a university in Scotland. Even over here, all the way across the pond, organizers are preparing for the Edinburgh March for Science.
It’s exciting to see so many people organizing over a common cause, particularly when it brings together groups that have been at times fragmented and divided. By creating a huge event and day of action on Earth Day, the march is working towards one of the holiday’s main goals: spreading unity and awareness.
The March for Science is led by a diverse group of scientists aiming to demonstrate their support for science and the need for more open communication about scientific endeavors. This event already has tens of thousands of participants in its organization and is guaranteed to have a large turnout. Organizers for the march are focused on involving science more effectively in policy and on making policy makers aware of and dependent on science in decision making. This goal, the organization claims, comes from a nonpartisan position. More information about the March for Science and the global satellite marches that may be taking place near you can be found at www.marchforscience.com.
There are also lots of other things you can do if marching isn’t really your thing. If you want something a little more tangible, there are lots of cleanups going on across North America, or you can start your own! Information about local events can be found online or you can help pick up litter on beaches or a local park. Earth Day celebrates individual power, as well, and is a symbol of how one person can make a difference. The cumulative power of little things done by lots of people can change the world.
You as an individual can spread awareness and work on little changes you can make in your everyday life like reducing waste, recycling, reducing energy use, buying sustainable food and goods, and being conscious of the environment in every decision you make. Most importantly, make everyday Earth Day; we need to take the power and energy devoted to science and to the protection of our planet and create a turning point in how we treat the Earth, just like Gaylord Nelson did in creating the holiday in 1970.