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Earth Day


History of Earth Day

Earth Day was created amidst huge changes within the United States. The Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights, and Anti-war movements were all active, and environmental awareness was emerging. Before 1970, the average person was not concerned by swirling black clouds latent with chemicals and endlessly pouring from factories, or the lack of awareness for health and safety. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, which meant that the federal government began monitoring air pollutants. Air quality greatly increased, along with the health of the American people. Air quality today is about five times better than it was in 1970. This issue and a few others were catalysts of environmental activism in the US. Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to bring awareness to environmental issues and remind people that we have to protect the planet that we call home. Today, it is celebrated globally each year as a reminder of how we should be treating our planet. 


Earth Day remains relevant for an undeniable reason: We need the Earth. Not just humanity, but every plant, animal, and living thing. We cannot survive without it, which is why it needs to be taken care of. It may be easy to ignore for now, but we are at a pivotal moment. Global warming is increasing, pollution remains an active problem, and ecosystems and populations are recklessly destroyed for profit. Earth Day exists as a reminder that these problems persist, as a way to encourage people to make changes, and morbidly, as a reminder that our time is running out to make real change. It needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. 

Dangers to the Earth

Currently, the Earth is plagued with a multitude of issues that pose threats to its well-being and to everyone who inhabits it. Global warming causes unrelenting effects like climate change, rising ocean temperatures, loss of species and habitats, droughts, worsened natural disasters, and so much more. According to The Nature Conservacy, we should be drastically reducing our emissions, working to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and protecting the forests that absorb it. Similarly to global warming, pollution remains a chronic problem as well. While efforts are being made to mollify this issue, there is still an island of trash bigger than the state of Texas floating in our ocean. Greenpeace estimates that of the 100 million metric tons of plastic produced each year, about ten million tons end up in the ocean. Meanwhile, forests are ripped apart; impacting biodiversity, species, and the health of rainforests. About 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed within the past fifty years. And this statistic doesn’t include the massive damage that has been made to much of the remaining vegetation. Humanity can ignore these issues (and so many more) all it wants, but it does not change the fact that they exist. Environmental issues loom over humanity, their shadowed hands seizing the Earth in a deadly grip. Someday it will be too late to break free. 

How People Can Help

The only redeeming thing about these issues is that there are many possible solutions. While some will need to be implemented on a larger scale, the average person can do a lot to reduce their ecological footprint and help protect the Earth. Some include: reducing electricity use, using more public transportation/carpool when able, less food waste, recycling plastic and paper, conserving water, respecting nature, limiting participation in overconsumption/fast fashion, stopping single-use plastics, reducing meat consumption, helping plant trees and plants, speaking out on environmental issues, donating to organizations that help the Earth, and educateing yourself on global warming and its effects

These are just a few ideas, and there are so many more things that people can do to help! Earth Day is about celebrating the people and movements that protect the Earth and reminding everyone how important it is to care for the planet that everyone shares. Go outside today, if you can! Appreciate the sweet fragrance of flowers, the warm sunshine on your skin, the birds chirping all around you, the wonderful dog pulling on their leash in front of you, who might enjoy all of this even more than you do! Say thank you to the Earth for all it does.  






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About the Contributor
Sarah Kummery
Sarah Kummery, Staff Writer
Sarah Kummery is currently a junior at Quakertown Community High School, and this isher first semester on the Paw Prints staff. She enjoys spending time with loved ones,reading, writing, traveling, singing, and volunteering. She loves animals and has a dognamed Piper. She is very excited to continue writing!!

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