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Everything You Need to Know About Earth Week 2019 in Kansas City

I want to start this article by saying that every day should be Earth Day. It’s so great that we have a day to celebrate our phenomenal planet and where people who don’t normally recycle do so, or where you see all of the #earthappreciationpost on Instagram where college bloggers post aesthetically appealing photos they took on their vacations around the world. Unfortunately,  it’s not enough. Throughout the course of Earth week at UMKC, around Kansas City and even around the world, there were several Earth-related events that took place.

Students, myself included, in the University of Missouri - Kansas City Geosciences department planned Earth Week festivities for students, faculty and community members. Our theme for this Earth Week was Save our Species, relating to how there is a mass species extinction rate and many scientists are concluding that we are in or on the verge of sixth mass extinction. These events ranged from Earth Day activities on the Quad to replanting a UMKC garden and having a river clean-up at Brush Creek.

Kansas City had several celebratory Earth Day/Week events throughout the city. The Climate Council of Greater Kansas City hosted its first Earth Day Celebration where they hosted several local speakers from across the area that were either city officials or leaders of environmental organizations here in Kansas City. At their event, they had a march and rally at Mill Creek Park, activities for children and breakout sessions at the Plaza Library. Sunrise Movement KC, a local hub of the national organization Sunrise Movement, hosted a Green New Deal Town Hall at Unity Temple where over 255 individuals from across the Kansas City area attended. At this town hall, Kansas City mayoral candidates Quinton Lucas and Jolie Justus spoke on where they see Kansas City advancing in climate action and initiatives.

There were so many other Earth day events around the city that consisted of trash clean-ups, recycling events and much more. It’s truly heartwarming to see how many local organizations, nonprofits, businesses and more took part in some Earth-related activity throughout the week. However, I want to challenge those organizations to stay active in environmental events or activities that are happening in and around Kansas City. Good news though, there are numerous to attend in the Kansas City area.

With not having lived in Kansas City for even a year,  I have been nothing but impressed with how much energy Kansas City invests into working towards making it a more sustainable city. In fact, Kansas City recently passed Renewables Direct Ordinance #190233 where the city will move to 100% renewable energy on municipal buildings. Don’t get me wrong as there is still a lot more we can do, but I am nothing but excited to see where Kansas City goes from here.

Kansas City wasn’t the only city to commit to renewables. In fact, the city of Chicago committed to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Chicago being one of the biggest cities in the country to commit to renewable energy shows that there are great strides being taken across the US in the form of green energy. Ever since President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017, cities have been taking their own initiatives either in accordance with the Paris Agreement or at least close to those guidelines. There were countless more Earth Day/Week events that took place all across the world in an attempt to better our Earth. However, we should be making those efforts every single day because every day is Earth Day.