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Every year on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day! It is a day to bring awareness to environmental protection measures to sustain our planet and the ecosystems that live here. Earth Day is not just recognized in the U.S., but it’s recognized globally as well.

Earth Day began in 1970 when Americans began realizing air pollution was harming their health. During this time, the American media was widely naïve to environmental concerns and how Americans and other living organisms are impacted. However, it wasn’t until Rachel Carson published her New York Times Best Selling book, Silent Spring, when people started to become concerned about environmental problems. Her book sold in 24 countries and allowed for individuals to become educated on the subject. 

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Gaylord Nelson, who went on to become a senator, had a long concern for environmental issues. It wasn’t until the oil spill in Santa Barbara, that concerned a vast amount of people, when he decided it was time to bring public awareness to environmental issues. He initiated the first Earth Day with other activists, and together they did everything they could to get the word out about the Earth Day movement. It eventually reached national mainstream media, and the first Earth Day inspired 20 million Americans to demonstrate the growing concerns of environmental problems due to industrial development. From this, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created, and other environmental laws were implemented too. 

[bf_image id="b54tbgxvcnjn7nc46h9x"] Earth Day was recognized globally in 1990. Environmental leaders contacted Denis Hayes, an environmental advocate, to create a global campaign about Earth Day. It was successfully done, and 200 million people in 141 countries began demonstrating about environmental issues. This gave a huge boost to recycling effects worldwide, and Hayes was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Americans do their own small things to celebrate, or bring awareness to, Earth Day. Disney often puts out their own Earth Day movie where they recognize a particular ecosystem and study how the organisms in the ecosystem behave, called Disneynature. Unfortunately, this year, probably because of COVID-19 restrictions, Disneynature didn’t put out a movie, but they have many more to explore on Disney+

[bf_image id="3g494vv4nbchjtx5tbrntkbz"] In my opinion, every day should be Earth Day. Every day we should be doing our part to protect our planet. It is important for us to educate ourselves about environmental problems and the everlasting effects they can bring. Earth is our only home and it’s important to take care of it before it is too late.

Alyssa Monroy

UC Riverside '24

A cellular, molecular, and developmental biology major and public policy minor that loves science, beauty, and writing.
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