Earth day is my favorite day to tap through Instagram stories and become absolutely infuriated that everyone is just posting sunset pictures and not actually doing anything.
If that is you, it’s not too late. There’s still time to change.
Celebrate Earth Day today and every day in LA, at UCLA and anywhere you may find yourself throughout your life. Earth Day was created in 1970 to put environmental issues on everyone’s radar. In the age of social movements, the creators harnessed media outlets and organizations to protest and spread awareness of air and water pollution, oil spills and pesticides, among other things. In 1990, Earth Day went global. Now, as we face a growing environmental crisis, it is even more imperative to participate in this international holiday! Here are some ways we can honor Earth Day all year long.
Heal the Bay has a monthly beach cleanup somewhere in LA and also hosts private events. Groups can adopt a beach, which commits them to only three beach cleanups per year. That’s nothing! Heal the Bay even has an annual Gala in May, open to all, which raises money to support their cause.
Tree People not only supports the environment by planting healthy trees in the LA area but works toward educational and social justice in low-income communities by providing green spaces and clean neighborhoods. Individuals can help out by checking the extensive calendar on their website which includes several events per week. Private volunteer events are also available!
Climate Resolve has fundraising and education events throughout the year to come up with equitable and realistic plans for lessening greenhouse gas emissions in LA. They deal with issues in transportation, smart growth and even wildfires to bring solutions straight to the community.
Check out some clubs right here on campus to help in a plethora of environmental sectors! We have Access to Clean Water Anywhere, Be Green Bruin, Beekeepers, Clean Consulting, the Sustainability Music Festival in May, and so many more. These clubs range from intense, application and interview-based clubs, to clubs you can just drop in and support.
The first class I took here at UCLA was Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 1: Climate Change from Puzzles to Policy. Up until that point I was an avid environmentalist, but honestly, I didn’t understand the science behind what was happening. I am now minoring in Environmental Systems and Society and awed about how many classes there are at UCLA dedicated to these topics, and how few students actually take them during their time here! Even just taking one of these classes will make you so much more knowledgeable (and concerned) about what’s going on, so I highly recommend checking one of those out. At the end of the day, if we want to start restoring the Earth to her healthy self, we have to live the concept of Earth Day every day. Everyone can do that in a way they’re comfortable with. Whether it’s educating (or being educated), hands on research and volunteering or even just donating, we should actively put practices into our lives year round to celebrate the Earth.