Earth Day is every day!

THE FIRST EARTH DAY: How far have we come since then? (Floyd)

Sophie Rapeepat | Head Editor

April 28, 2024

April 22, 1970, marked an incredible day in history as the catalyst for the environmental movement. Over 20 million people protested the lack of regulation and environmental protection laws, leading it to be one of the biggest protests in our country’s history. Within a year of this advocacy followed the establishment of Nixon’s Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act, initiatives that set the example for further conservation efforts. 

Fifty-four years later, Earth Day is an annual event recognized globally. People come together from all walks of life to support causes ranging from decreasing air pollution to saving sea turtles to ending harmful pesticides. It has always been a day of reflection and community. 

But does Earth Day mean the same thing now as it did in 1970? 

According to Outside Online columnist Kristin Hostetter, “Somewhere along the way, what started in 1970 as one of America’s most successful protests ever has turned into a massive marketing opportunity for companies to sell more stuff and flaunt their half-hearted initiatives.” Companies advertise their products with the labels “green” and “eco-clean,” but their intent is the polar opposite to the genuine efforts made in 1970. Now more than ever, consumerism has skyrocketed and increased pollution exponentially. 

“ECO-SHAPED?” What does that even mean? (Thread)

Greenwashing is one way in which Earth Day has been manipulated, and another is virtue signaling. “Earth Day kind of loses its meaning when the environment only matters once a year,” said junior Peyton Mitchell. “I see people post sunsets and beaches, but how many of those people actually pick up their trash?”

Social media can make it too easy for people to “support” movements without raising a finger. Yes, spreading awareness is important, but it’s sad when doing so is only important on one day out of three-hundred-and-sixty-five.

The Earth belongs to everybody. We are all here living life for the first time, and it is so important to protect our home and give back. Remember the original purpose of Earth Day and celebrate each day for what it is. “People like to say that they care about the earth, then they go through a 24-pack of single-use water bottles in a week,” said senior Aiden Harper. Be conscious of your lifestyle and care enough to protect your planet. Treat every day like it’s Earth Day! 

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