The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22nd, 1970. It was a monumental day, with over 20 million Americans pouring into the streets to demand environmental justice. To this day, it remains one of the largest single day protests in human history. 51 years later, climate change is a bigger issue than ever, with more Americans demanding sustainable change be taken now. From the initial Earth Day event, the holiday has blossomed into Earth Month, a whole 30 days to appreciate the planet and advocate for environmentally friendly practices to preserve it.
This Earth Month, we have curated actions which advocate for environmental justice. Whether it’s how a health diet can lead a more sustainable life all the way up to contacting the President to protect our national lands and water, we want to give individuals the tools to address climate change from all angles. There is no one cause of climate change, and numerous social and economic factors play into it as well. This month, take action to find out how everyone can make a collective impact on the climate, preserving our beautiful planet for generations to come.
In the 51 years since the first Earth Day, the effects of climate change have become far more pronounced. Along with rising national average temperatures and sea levels, the country has seen record setting rains and droughts, among numerous other weather events. In fact, according to Pew Research, over half of Americans believe that climate change is affecting their community in some direct way. Currently, two-thirds of Americans are looking to the government to prioritize climate change, and a vast majority of citizens want tougher restrictions on emissions from industry.
However, despite this growing majority of Americans believing in the severity of climate change, not enough is being done to fully combat and reverse it. Now more than ever, Americans need to pressure businesses and elected officials to take an active role in finding solutions to the current climate crisis. Governments and businesses make up a vast majority of carbon emission creators, and regulations and new technology must be implemented to curb the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. While companies and anti-climate change lobbyist groups hold much power over environmental reform, Americans can create great change by uniting under the banner of a cleaner, greener future. The resigning of the Paris Agreement is a great start, but it is only the beginning of the wide-sweeping change which must take place to take back our environment.
While larger institutions must become more sustainable, there are many ways in which individuals can live a greener life. From small daily changes to long-term planning, people have numerous options to help reduce their ecological footprint. While small, each person doing their part can result in a large scale, measurable collective impact.
Earth Day is the most famous environmental event in American and world history, yet even it has its limitations. Climate change does not stop after April, and it must stay at the front of our minds for the other 11 months of the year. This Earth Month, find ways to take action not just now, but for the next coming months, years and decades. With sustained effort – along with pressure to reform our governments and businesses’ approach to climate change – a sustainable, climate neutral future is a real possibility.