The Greenbelt movement is notable for its contribution to improving environmental sustainability in decolonized areas. They have specialized in having women planting millions of trees in Kenya to repair the biodiversity.
The Greenbelt movement is notable for its contribution to improving environmental sustainability in decolonized areas. They have specialized in having women planting millions of trees in Kenya to repair the biodiversity.
(Photo Credit: Ava Radovic/Canva/Achona online)

A homage to April 22nd, International Earth Day

Though there are debates about the veracity of global warming, environmental damage, and how to handle these prominent issues across the world, if there is one thing that is generally agreed upon, it is Earth Day and its significance. 

Since the industrial revolution, the world has been using unparalleled amounts of fossil fuels, emitting tons of carbon, and overall negatively affecting our environment, which has resulted in air pollution and concerns regarding global warming. In 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson grew more concerned for environmental causes after the infamous oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He grew motivated from the frequent student-led anti-war protests and decided to promote a teach-in on college campuses advocating for the problems with water and air pollution. Activator Denis Hayes would go on to organize the events, and designated April 22nd as Earth Day, as it was between spring break and final exams, and would lead to maximum participation. 

1970 was the very first Earth Day celebration, with approximately twenty million attendees advocating for better protection of the environment. A decade later, in 1980, the event would take place at the White House for the first time, where numerous ground-breaking decisions and committees were put in place, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1990, a similar group of Denis Hayes’ protesters organized another campaign; however, this one would gain publicity worldwide. Then in 2016, Earth Day would act as the signing day for the Paris Agreement, perhaps the largest agreement ever made for environmental transformation internationally. Each year, Earth Day grows a larger following, contributing to its original cause, which was to bring light to environmental issues and advocate for better strategies to protect our planet. 

Though it could be speculated that celebrities do indeed support Earth Day for a better image and more supporters, it has been consistently seen that celebrities prioritize posting for the day to bring attention to its causes. Supermodel Gisele Bünchen has proved her dedication to helping the environment, posting her favorite films that showcase the environment and encouraging her fans to participate in activities that help the ecosystem. Scientist Bill Nye has demonstrated his support through planting trees in New York City. Actress and screenwriter, Mindy Kaling posted her favorite environmental cause, the Ocean Conservancy, and encouraged her followers to donate and help clean up our oceans. Jane Fonda, a household name in Hollywood for decades, has been notorious for hosting Fire Drill Friday Protests outside the United States Capitol. In total, she has been arrested five times for protesting, showcasing her utter devotion to helping the planet. 

While it is harder to find the following and resources necessary to make a large impact in support of Earth Day, there are still plenty of local opportunities to showcase one’s love for the environment. To name a few, there are multiple cleanups across the city and along the beaches, that will help remove the trash that leads to pollution. Planting a tree is also an option, with lists provided with safe plants to put into the soil, and programs including the University of Florida’s Florida-Friendly Landscaping group. Another peaceful option to appreciate nature in Tampa Bay would be to go bird watching or invite pollinating insects into the garden. These would advocate for the protection of animals and allow for them to flourish in the often-polluted urban city of Tampa. However, even if one can’t go out into nonprofits and donate time and money, it is still crucial to show some support towards the environment. Whether this be recycling, carpooling to curb carbon emissions, or appreciating the picturesque nature in the community, everyone’s contribution makes a difference in correlation to the fate of our environment. 


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All in all, it is important to commemorate the international effort of Earth Day and to recognize its immense contribution to cleaning up our earth. The exact measures and extent to which global warming occurs can be debatable, but it is greatly significant how Earth Day has consistently brought the populations together and received consistent participation from different parts of the world. Lastly, it is important to note that everyone is on the journey of protecting our planet and that this is in the hands of one’s community.

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