Earth day is nearing its 50th anniversary. In 1970 a U.S. senator pulled together many environmental groups, activists and concerned citizens to demonstrate the people’s desire for a cleaner, safer and less polluted planet. There were environmental rallies and education forums for years before the founding of earth day, yet they weren’t making the necessary impact. The conscious creation to institute an annual day to spread awareness has polarized people around the planet. The idea of earth day was a culmination of several environmental issues, a tipping point was a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. Although more devastating oil spills have since occurred along the Santa Barbara coastline and other coastal areas throughout the world, earth day has grown exponentially. With each environmental disaster there is a bigger outcry to bring meaningful solutions, proving the tremendous impact earth day is making.
Impressively millions of people around the globe actively participate in the multitude of earth day events. Some march to spread awareness about climate change, others band together to share ideas about how we as global citizens will evolve the conversation. There are hundreds of environmental organizations all making important progress towards a cleaner, more habitable world for the generations that follow. Earth day over the years turned more and more companies and legislators to take action by enacting laws and policies to prohibit excessive pollution, and controls to monitor the progress made.
All the positive progress made and the numbers of citizens participating is an indicator we as a one world community are making important strides. Earth day is rapidly becoming an annual event similar all the holidays we celebrate around the world. We now hear a reference to earth month. An astounding accomplishment. There are so many events we are invited to, one day is no longer adequate to celebrate building a better world.
We can take earth day home with us to enact every day. Despite legislation and corporate governance making important strides to make a difference, it is still up to all of us to think and act beyond earth day. An easy way to be earth friendly is as simple as refusing single use plastics. There are volumes of scientific data demonstrating the devastating impact single use plastics make on our environment for generations. We enjoy dining out or appreciate the convenience to order take out meals. The amount of time we use a plastic utensil set is often less than 30 minutes, yet the plastics end up in a land fill or worse, in our streets, waterways and ultimately our precious oceans.
Here’s a simple 1-2-3 we can all do to dramatically decrease the literally tons of single use plastics disposed of annually:
- Using less – Skip one week. 100 people over one year = 5,200 less plastic utensil sets in the waste stream. One family of four once a week for one year refusing single use plastics eliminates 208 single use plastic utensils sets. 100 families = 20,800.
- Restaurants – skipping handing out to customers for one week over a year to 100 customers is 5,200 less a week. The average cost of 5,200 utensils is a savings for your business.
- Do good feel good. Say NO to plastic utensils. Buying a set of bamboo utensils makes a difference.
We have the capacity to make our world safer and healthier by making some very small changes in our habits. We can make earth day every day.