Written by Kaitlin Harness and Rachel Blythe (Class of 2022)
Earth Day is an annual celebration held on April 22 since 1970. Initiated by John McConnell, the event has grown greatly in recent years; in 2020, Earth Day was held online and is said to have been the largest online mass mobilization in history. This year, the theme was restoration and featured five primary programs: The Canopy Project, Food and Environment, The Great Global CleanUp, Global Earth Challenge, and Climate Literacy.
The Canopy Project focused on reforesting areas that are in dire need of rehabilitation, including places where some of the world’s communities are most at risk from climate change and environmental degradation; Food and Environment was about the campaign Foodprints for the Future, in which we learned that leaning to a plant-based diet and not wasting food can shrink our environmental impacts associated with growing and transporting food; The Great Global CleanUp discussed being mindful of where we dispose our waste, but more importantly, reducing our consumption; the Global Earth Challenge was about the integration of billions of data from people around the world to monitor threats to environmental and human health in their communities; Climate Literacy was the overarching frame because our goal for these projects was to achieve a widespread climate literacy for youth and raise awareness about what our environment is currently facing. In the weeks leading up to earth day, the AP Environmental Science class hosted biweekly presentations during school meetings about these programs and about the different ways to restore the earth in our everyday lives.
On the day of the event, IGDVS students gathered at lunch to learn more about the planet and the problems it faces. The presentation included a recitation of Earthrise by Amanda Gorman, a review of past presentation topics, new introductions about environmental racism, upcycling food, and virtual water, and lastly, a carbon footprint quiz. After the presentations, we went back to the topic of restoration and asked a question about how we can restore the earth to the way it was before people increased levels of pollution, waste, greenhouse gases, and deforestation. The 2nd to 4th Graders went around and gave us ways to restore and replenish our resources, with examples such as saving paper, reusing shopping bags, eating all of your food, picking up trash, cycling to school, and others.
Putting together this incredible event, the AP Environmental Science class learned a great deal about new topics and discoveries regarding ways to lead sustainable lifestyles and restore our earth. In retrospect, Nina Xie, one of the APES students, described her Earth Day experience as a “fun way to raise awareness and have fun while learning something new about our planet earth.” On April 22, many people around the world celebrated this day to demonstrate their support for environmental protection. But, Earth Day does not just last for one day, it continues 365 days a year. Make every day Earth Day.
“For it is our hope that implores us, at our uncompromising core,– Amanda Gorman, Earthrise
To keep rising up for an earth more than worth fighting for.”
Categories: Global Awareness