By Patricia Sliney:
If you found yourself anywhere on social media on April 22nd 2019, odds are you were swarmed by photos with the hashtag #EarthDay. Most likely, your friends, followers, and favorite brands or influencers posted their most beautiful and exotic photos of nature. Earth Day comes around once a year, but you may have asked yourself as the day came to a close, what exactly does this holiday accomplish? As I scrolled through my feeds asking myself the same question, I decided to do a little research on this topic, and found out exactly why so many people were talking about Earth Day.
According to president of the Earth Day Organization, Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day is about much more than just posting nice pictures on the internet. She explains that Earth Day is really “A day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.”
Fans of rapper Lil Dicky and other artists in the pop genre found themselves listening to an Earth Day anthem on April 22nd. The collaboration of Lil Dicky’s most recent song “Earth” was created to spread awareness for the holiday. It shares a positive message that encourages taking care of our planet, and provides a call to action to take better care of our planet.
The song provides a link in the description to the website We Love The Earth. The song is intended to raise awareness around Earth Day, and inform everyone of the dangers involved when we don’t take care of our environment.
But what is really the issue, and why should we care? According to We Love The Earth, “If we don’t make massive changes to our behavior over the next twelve years, the damage we’ve done to this planet will be irreversible. Oceans will be destroyed, super storms will become even more super, cities will flood, the air will suck, and we’ll run out of food and energy.”
Twelve years is fairly soon in the future, but, what can we really do to make a difference? I looked to Assumption College’s own Greenhounds Co-President, Jackie Ryan for her take. Greenhounds is a student led club on campus that promotes sustainability and environmental awareness. When I asked Jackie what exactly Assumption students can do to make an impact, she said “I think that students can make a huge impact through recycling and waste management. A lot of recyclable plastic and cardboard ends up in the trash, so limiting this can help reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills.” When I asked student at Assumption College Neydi Ramirez what she does to help our environment, she shared a lot of the same advice that Jackie had by saying, “I try to be aware of what I recycle, and I encourage others to be too.”
Jackie goes on by advising, “Getting in the habit of using less water when showering or brushing teeth can help reduce energy costs and put less strain on local reservoirs. Students can also take advantage of ride share options like Uber and public transportation.” By implementing these simple yet effective steps, students like Neydi and Jackie hope to reduce our footprint on the Earth, and work toward a cleaner and healthier environment.
And more people are joining the cause every day with companies like Starbucks pledging to eradicate all plastic straws by the year 2020. With so many people doing their part to make lifestyle changes, no matter big or small, it seems like Earth Day means a lot more than just some nice photos or good music.
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