Earth Day is More Important Now than Ever

Illustration by Esther Liu | The Bottom Line

Madison Kirkpatrick
Staff Writer

Earth Day was Monday, April 22. Previously a very celebrated holiday (at least for me and my friends), it seems to have lost its luster in some places. As a society, the number of people celebrating Earth Day is dwindling every year, and we should think about the factors that influence celebration of the holiday, as well as why people don’t celebrate at all.

Earth Day seems to be a thing of the past, with some exceptions. According to Fox News, CBS recently resurfaced a video from 1970 in honor of Earth Day, urging people to “act or die.” While it seems extreme now, one can only imagine how alarming it must have sounded nearly four decades ago.

I am repulsed by the amount of litter I see on campus and often feel the urge to pick up other people’s trash. We shouldn’t have to worry about litter or other forms of waste so much, which is why Earth Day is important to celebrate now more than ever.  

As important as it is, many people don’t consider Earth Day worth celebrating. More often than not, our mode of “celebrating” as college students is posting pictures online of different landscapes and urging people to take care of the environment. But I wonder if this is enough.

Does commemorating the day on social media count as enough, or should we go out and actually make changes happen? One day might not simply be enough to celebrate. I have seen many captions on social media that say “every day is Earth Day” and I agree. One day doesn’t seem fitting for some to take care of the earth and we should be doing our part every day to ensure our world is safe and fit for survival.

Here’s an analogy that describes how we need to treat our earth: If you desperately need a good grade in your class and you only study for one day, it won’t make a huge difference; the same goes for taking care of the earth. We need to be consistent in our actions, and one day doesn’t mean much, although one day is admittedly better than none.

I was surprised to find that many people in my hometown didn’t celebrate. When I asked my mom about it, she said that Earth Day was the only holiday her work did not have a noteworthy celebration for. Her company is very environmentally aware, but she wishes they could have more events for this day.

It also surprises me that Santa Barbara doesn’t celebrate more, when a crucial event that occurred here — the 1969 Oil Spill — was a catalyst for increased environmental awareness state-wide. You would think that a place with such rich history surrounding Earth Day would celebrate it, so imagine my shock when I didn’t hear of many events or even get asked about my plans for the day.

Admittedly, this might be because there is a lack of events catered specifically towards college students or because the information isn’t widely disseminated, but this is more reason to focus heavily on publicizing these events.

Whether people choose to celebrate the holiday is their choice, and I agree that every day should be grounds for taking care of the earth. With that being said, we should take the opportunity Earth Day provides to reflect seriously on our human impact upon the earth. We all want to maintain our home, but it never hurts to be reminded once in a while!