To many today, our annual recognition of Earth Day seems like it has been a part of human history for ages, when in fact the opposite is true. The founding of Earth Day and the first day to fall under this name was on April 22, 1970, only 47 years ago. While people tend to view the 70s as a time for peace and love, it was also a time for realization. People recognized that future generations could not depend on the Earth’s nonrenewable resources forever. Out of this, Earth Day was created as a time to respect and honor the planet and environment in which we live. Earth Day, however, should not stop after a meager 24 hours in April; instead, the values that Earth Day represents should be implemented in our routines and rituals as well as our policies every day of the year.
This year’s Earth Day gave people the opportunity to have their voices heard, which is now more important than ever. On April 22, 2017, Washington D. C. and many other cities around the globe, including Springfield, MO, hosted a March for Science. While the March for Science was designed to support a range of ideologies from investing in science education to financing research, the study and research of climate change was one reason why some marched Saturday. People united both locally and globally to show their support for what the sciences can do to help protect our air, water, and land, which in turn improves human health and slows the degradation of our Earth.
Supporting scientists and research provides us with the knowledge and tools to create positive change. The march promoted science as a way to inspire the public, scientists, and policy makers to view science as a valuable part of the democratic process. By marching, the participants take a step toward becoming more active citizens in their local communities and the shared larger community. Furthermore, science is a way for us to better understand our world and the people, animals, and plants living in it. When we can question our world, experiment, find answers, and share them with those around us, we can truly begin to make an impact. The science movement allows the environment to find its voice in the people. It creates a space in which people can engage with other individuals and policy leaders about the present and future well-being of all.
Earth Day should be about more than recycling one day a year or not leaving the water running while you brush your teeth. It should be about striving to become consciously aware of our actions and choices and how they affect our environment and way of life both locally and globally. We should strive to live every day as if it is Earth Day by supporting science’s endeavors to change our government’s policies for the betterment of our planet. The phrase “there is no planet B” suggests that we must take care of the planet that we have because it is the only planet that we are going to get. There is not another planet that can sustain human life; Earth is our home. Let’s take care of it.