by Khadijah Rahim
Earth day; a day celebrated annually, on April 22. But why is it that we celebrate Earth once a year, when Earth celebrates us everyday? The only planet that can sustain life, Earth, is home to 7.8 billion people and 8.7 million species of animals. With over 197 countries, each corner of our planet carries its own wonder. Yet despite all Earth gives us, it’s our very selves destroying the place we call home. This Earth Day, let’s make a difference; starting today and continuing everyday.
Despite the 8.7 million species that roam the planet, there is more and more face extinction, due to human activity. Per day, 96 elephants and at least 3 rhinos are killed by poachers. Over 1 million marine creatures die each year due to human waste and pollution. Polar bears are likely to experience reproductive failure by 2040 – failure as climate change claims their icy habitats. Yet many of us carry on our destructive habits leading to an early end for the only planet that can sustain us. Let’s talk about problems humans cause, and how we can bring change – real change!
- Climate change! What is it? In simple terms, climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates. These changes have a broad range of observed effects including, rising temperatures, rising sea levels, atmospheric changes, and increase in natural disasters. What’s our role? Everyday things like deforestation, pollution from automobiles and factories, and agricultural farming drastically makes way for climate change to worsen. But small things do make a difference in preserving our planet. Planting trees, helping with beach cleanup, and using public transportation are small ways we can help our planet. Opt for a plant based meal a few times a week; not only is this good for your health, it’s good for our planet too!
- Pollution is another main factor of climate change. Aside from air pollution, oceanic pollution surprisingly also makes its dent in climate change. There’s approximately 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. Each year over 100,000 marine creatures and 1 million seabirds die from plastic in the ocean. After consumption, in many cases the animals die from the plastic in their bodies. Along with that, our oceans are the largest natural carbon sink for greenhouse gases. As our climate changes, the planet gets hotter, the plastic in the ocean breaks down into more methane and ethylene, increasing the rate of climate change. Simple things like switching to reusable water bottles and bags, participating in beach clean ups, and proper recycling can not only save our sea creatures, but our home.
- Practice does not make perfect, but the perfect practice leads to perfection. Merely thinking about these issues isn’t enough. We have to do more! We have to actively get involved in protecting the only place we can call home. Organize beach cleanups, use reusable items, and planting a tree are simple things you can do to give back to Earth. Continue to educate yourself and spread the word so more people can keep our plant alive. Earth day isn’t one day, it’s everyday!