By Sukhmani Kaur
Toxic pollution hovering in the air combined with human garbage smothering the earth proves how our planet continues to suffer from detrimental factors that increasingly affect all its inhabitants. According to the World Bank, the growing global urban population will produce three times as much waste in 2100 as it does today. That level of waste carries serious consequences, both physical and fiscal, for cities around the world.
While we have an annual celebration that alerts people to these problems, Earth Day has become nothing more than a day for collectively patting each other on the backs for remembering, once a year, that we should turn off the tap while brushing our teeth. This “planet-saving” holiday requires more than just a day’s worth of importance in which people are encouraged to recycle or conserve water and electricity.
Simply designating one day of awareness highlights the unproductive attitudes society possesses over solving issues that deeply affect our everyday lives. People should not have to be reminded to save the Earth; rather these actions and the will to carry them through must come from within our conscience and understanding about Earth’s worsening conditions, which drastically put our future at risk.
In addition, Earth Day loses its true essence because of the many promotions needed in order to advocate support for the holiday. For example, posters placed in schools and workplaces to encourage individuals to partake in the holiday demonstrate that people contribute less towards preserving the planet and more towards the destruction of it.
Furthermore, communities as a whole fail to promote the holiday efficiently, evidenced in the lack of change in daily routines and schedules. Many schools and workplaces do not emphasize the basic measures that can be taken to promote a greener planet, as seen through continuous electricity usage and technological devices that assist with daily tasks, whether that be through the use of a computer or fax machine.
Many broadcasting companies, such as Nickelodeon, go one step further and take the time to promote the national holiday through the exhibition of multiple public service announcements. However, instead of not broadcasting any of the programs on these channels for the entire day, these networks continue to promote their channel’s content. Failure to power down for an entire day and complete simple Earth-saving activities such as recycling and the reduction of paper usage further demonstrate society’s failure to accurately celebrate the holiday and the hypocrisy that lies within it.
Therefore Earth Day should not be a one day celebration but a yearwide campaign for sustainable living.