Earth Day: it’s time to invest in our planet

Shriya Bikumalla

Every year since April 22, 1970, Earth Day marks the anniversary of a modern environmental movement, now in its 52nd year.

The events that led up to the first Earth Day started when American’s physically consumed a vast amount of leaded gas through automobiles. Air pollution was commonly accepted, yet many remained oblivious to the dangerous effects it had on human health. In 1970, Earth Day provided a voice to this environmental issue to help raise awareness and correct further environmental damage.

There are so many aspects of the world that are contributing to its destruction such as the expansion of the sun which will eventually become a red giant, meaning that the sun will soon engulf the universe, as well as air pollution, ocean pollution, and climate change. 

“Plastic waste in the ocean personally bothers me the most. Poor baby turtles,” Biology and Anatomy teacher Sarah Sands said.

Shriya Bikumalla

Around 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year, which causes the chain reaction of death. Small organisms ingest these toxins and are then eaten by larger animals, many of which are seafood that humans end up consuming. When these toxins enter the human body it can lead to long-term health conditions, cancer, and birth defects. Apart from selfish human reasons, plastic waste in the ocean ultimately makes the habitat of oceanic creatures’ a dangerous environment, ultimately ruining their sense of a home. 

Essentially, the human race is negatively affecting the future of our planet by being careless with the natural resources provided to us. This can be seen in the efforts or lack thereof of people not being mindful of their water use or driving cars that use gasoline. 

Junior Jennifer Stoute shares ways in which society can help better the environment which includes “driving a fuel efficient car that has less detrimental effects on the environment.”

Fuel-efficient cars help in reducing pollution and smog by at least 50%. Switching over to a hybrid car or one that does not require too much fuel would reduce the dependence on fossil fuels as well as the demand for fuel as a whole.

Turning off lights, fans, electronics, and the AC before I leave the house” are just a few ways that individuals can engage in conservation methods, freshman Amrita Sivanesan said.

Engaging in acts of energy conservation reduces air and water pollution and assures the conservation of natural resources. How does unplugging appliances help out the environment? A power influx can result in fatal electrical fires in homes, which can be avoided by keeping them unplugged when not in use.

Sivanesan likes to be one with nature by planting crops that her and her family enjoy and uses the extra food grown to be further turned into compost. 

Vegetables and fruits grown from the comfort of your own home require no plastic packaging which reduces fossil fuel inputs. By growing a garden, one can decide what goes on plants and into the soil, allowing for the  reduction of the amount of harmful chemicals polluting the environment and waterways. This ultimately reduces ocean waste, air pollution, and food waste when composting has occurred.

Celebrate this Earth Day by “being mindful of the resources we use, as well as signing petitions that advocate for more environmental regulations,” Stoute said.