Why Every Day Should Be Earth Day

It’s that time of the year again, the day when we all pick out the perfect photo to post to social media of ourselves surrounded by redwoods, swimming in a natural lake, hiking on a dirt path above a sprawling city view, or enjoying some other aspect of nature. The caption has to be perfect, something about loving Mother Earth and all she does for you. You love this planet, and what better way to show it than a timely Earth Day Instagram post?

But why does this kind of earthen propaganda only flood our consciousness on one day out of the year? We all know how crucial the Earth is to our survival, yet we often forget to appreciate our beloved planet on the other 364 days.

 

To celebrate this year’s Earth Day, here are a few things you can do to show your support of Mother Earth from from the actual holiday through the rest of the year and beyond:

 

On Earth Day:

Attend an Earth Day celebration. San Francisco has a street festival running during the day on the 22nd that not only celebrates Mother Earth, but also aims to educate and promote activism among those attending. There will also be workshops, panels, entertainment, and lots of food.

Their website is http://www.earthdaystreetfest.org. If you’re not in San Francisco, it’s super easy to find Earth Day events in whatever city you live in, as they’re happening everywhere.

Visit a National Park. It’s National Park Week, so all have free admission running from April 15-23. Take advantage of this opportunity to spend some time surrounded by wildlife that is actively being preserved and safeguarded, and to learn something new about your environment from rangers.

Visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm for more information about specific events and volunteer projects you can join!

 

Take part in a volunteer project. There are hundreds of volunteer events taking place on Earth Day weekend this year. You can find something that interests you and helps the planet at the same time, from joining a beach or creek clean-up to volunteering for a few hours at a festival or celebration.  

Go to https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=united+states&k=earth+day to find Earth Day volunteer opportunities near you.

 

After Earth Day:

Continue to volunteer or join a club. Two amazing Earth-related clubs at the University of San Francisco are the Outdoors Club, that plans regular Earth-related activities and meetings where passionate students talk all things Mother Earth, and the Food Recovery Network, where student volunteers recover the food leftover in the cafeteria at the end of each day and donate it to communities around San Francisco.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/USFEJOC/ and http://www.frnusfca.com for more info.

Check out your school or University’s Clubs and Organizations page to find what choices you have to get involved with helping and loving the planet wherever you are!

 

Re-evaluate your energy-usage habits. We’ve all heard the mantras of taking shorter showers to save water or turning off the lights when you leave your house to conserve energy. These are great, but I urge you all to really consider your daily routines and wasteful habits you might have adopted without even realizing it.

Check out a list of “50 Ways to Help the Planet” here: http://www.50waystohelp.com.

 

Consider cutting down on meat and animal products. The meat and dairy industries contribute greatly to environmental waste and destruction. If you’re not ready to go full vegetarian or vegan, try cutting meat from you diet only once or twice a week. You’d be surprised how quickly it all adds up.

 

Be an everyday activist! Stay updated on local and national politics, use your vote to make your voice heard, and attend protests or rallies that support positive policies and environmental protection. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

 

And finally, treat the Earth with kindness every day. The planet is what gives us all life, and without its delicate balance of ecosystems, life as we know it would cease to exist. Remember to love and respect your home, because it’s the only one we’ve got!