What does Earth day mean for me?
That is both an excruciatingly basic, yet immensely complex question for myself. As someone that is is lucky enough to make a living doing something I love, studying the environment, I am constantly thinking about the Earth and its importance in my life. Not just because it is my livelihood, rather, because it is vital that that everyone has an understanding of the importance and complexities of our environment. That is why I do what I do; why I’m passionate about science communication and research.
It’s also what Earth day means for me; a day devoted to engaging the public in discussion about our Earth and the importance of taking care of it for our own good. This day is when the mainstream media jumps on the environment bandwagon, running stories ranging from ways to reduce personal environmental footprints to what success stories there have been since the initiation of Earth day, 46 years ago.
The worry that I, and many others, share is that Earth Day is increasingly becoming a fleeting thought in the minds of the majority. While the events and celebrations Earth day have become increasingly mainstream, with many cities jumping on board and offering public gatherings, the educational aspect that accompanied early celebrations seems to have been lost. While I appreciate public figures using their stature to promote positive action –
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 22, 2016
To make a better future for our kids, we’ve got to protect the future of our planet. Happy Earth Day. pic.twitter.com/jRPtmo4Qzi
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 22, 2016
– it’s time to return to a more education-based concept of Earth Day. To steer back to the roots of the movement. As scientists, educators and active members of society, it’s time to push to do more outreach and education, not just on Earth Day but also on the other 364 (or 365) days of the year.
Let’s make Earth Day every day and think about the meaning and importance of it year-round. Also, as educators and communicators, let’s work on keeping the buzz and engagement of this day going for the rest of the year. Our Earth depends on it!