Earth Day

earth day

April 22nd is Earth Day, a yearly celebration of the birth of the environmental movement that started in 1970. “ We have only one earth, so we need to take care of her.” That’s what Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin believed. So he organized the first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. An estimated 20 million people attended festivities that first year. It was a truly astonishing attainment that led to legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

In Latin America, notable environmental activists who have led the fight for necessary ecological protections include Berta Cáceres and Maxima Acuña. Two countries, Costa Rica and Chile, have received worldwide recognition for taking the lead in implementing large-scale conservation efforts. Costa Rica has pioneered ecosystem service payments that have allowed forest cover to thrive, and Chile has led the region in both land and marine conservation initiatives.

The current COVID-19 crisis is influencing our planet. The truth is, even though a lot of us are confined to our homes with little chance to go outside, the pandemic is not leaving us with a hale and hearty planet. Car and plane trips have been limited and the skies have seemed to clear over certain parts of the world, but there hasn’t been any substantial environmental gains. Even in unprecedented times like these we can do our part to protect our planet and make simple choices in our daily life:

COVID-19 has affected many small businesses; we can buy from local companies. It would support the local economy and also reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced.
We can unplug unused electrical devices. It would reduce our electric bill and our energy consumption.
We should not flush disinfecting wipes down the toilet (even those labelled as flushable) as they clog our sewer systems. Let’s throw them out in the garbage instead.
We can select the right plants for our gardens to bring native bees and other pollinators to our backyard.
We can switch to healthier cooking and cleaning products such as 100% recycled aluminum foil, chemical-free parchment paper for baking and compostable bags made from potato starch.
We can donate to or volunteer at a local environmental organizations.

April showers will have to wait, Earth Day will be warm and sunny, so why miss out on events celebrating it all over Vancouver? You can check the events here. Protecting the Earth is worthwhile as it is the most effective action against future pandemics.
“ Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to save the world” – Dolores Huerta
So let’s help restore the Earth! Happy Earth Day!

                                                                            Bartika Dutta

Newsletter Sign Up

To get our free biweekly newsletter. Receive information about Latin American news in BC and in the world..