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Earth Day: Powerful Ways To Encourage Global Conservation

Earth Day (Image by Sergio Cerrato - Italia from Pixabay)

Let’s talk about the planet Earth. Whether one has traveled across the world for most of their life, remained in one place or somewhere in between, Earth has always been humanity’s home.  

Of all the planets in our solar system, Earth is the only planet that sustains life. According to the American Museum of Natural History, Earth’s distance from the Sun allows for liquid water. Its magnetic field protects it from harmful radiation and possesses oxygen and carbon, the chemical ingredients for life.

In short, Earth is a planet unlike any other, and Earth Day celebrates the world by emphasizing that the best way to appreciate Earth is by practicing conservation to sustain the planet.

EARTH DAY

April 22 is officially known as Earth Day. Since 1970, the national holiday represents the anniversary of a modern environmental movement, according to Earth Day’s official website.

Earth Day
Earth Day (Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay)

The website states that Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, sparked the worldwide environmental movement. Working with Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey and activist Denis Hayes, they built a national staff of 85 educators to inform the public about environmental concerns and promote conservation.

Since then, Earth Day has been regarded by more than a billion people every year as a day to promote conservation policies to preserve the planet, according to the website.

Brett Bruyere, a professor of conservation social science at Colorado State University, USA, says modern Earth Day raises awareness of environmental issues that don’t often receive news coverage otherwise.

“Conservation doesn’t have these kinds of naturally newsworthy moments because they don’t happen [quickly enough to fit] in that news cycle,” Bruyere says. “So Earth Day provides us that newsworthy moment. We build awareness, [which] is the precursor to taking action.”

The Importance of Conservation

Bruyere said that conservation means that ecosystems can flourish and function the way they naturally while meeting people’s needs.

Earth Day provides us that newsworthy moment.

Brett Bruyere

“It’s ecosystems and people being able to thrive,” Bruyere says. “We need to look at restoring those natural cycles and a willingness to adjust our lives in order for that to happen.”

Earth Day
Earth Day (Image by Raka C. from Pixabay)

Bruyere states that the current pace at which humanity is using Earth’s natural resources, including plants, animals and minerals, exceeds the rate they need to be used for future generations to meet their needs.

“We need to make sure those natural resources are around for future generations to meet their needs,” Bruyere said. “They’re not going to meet their needs in the same way because we have technology and innovation, but however they meet their needs, they’re going to be rooted in the same plant-animal-mineral base that Earth makes available.”

INCORPORATING CONSERVATION IN EVERYDAY LIFE

Regardless of who a person is or what kind of lifestyle they may live, anyone can incorporate conservation practices into their life. Bruyere said that although many believe that they must make radical adjustments to their livelihoods, a significant number of people making minor adjustments is just as effective.

Not all 8 billion of [Earth’s population] need to adjust. Even if we just took half, and everybody made some modifications, that could have a pretty scalar impact and not have any meaningful impact on how we’re living our lives day-to-day.

Brett Bruyere
Earth Day
Earth Day (Image by purwaka seta from Pixabay)

Here are four easy conservation practices, according to Bruyere:

Think about Transportation.

Transportation is an enormous part of everyday life, especially for those living a cross-cultural lifestyle. Luckily, there are lots of ways that one can travel sustainably. Think about planning trips: Maybe you can run all your errands in a single day to avoid taking more trips than necessary, or perhaps you can do something remotely.

Additionally, if public transportation is available, then use it. It’s usually affordable, and public transportation reduces the number of vehicles polluting the streets. Opting for other transportation methods such as walking, biking, skating or scootering is an easy way to practice conservation if distance and weather allow. Plus, traveling outside can improve your physical and mental well-being

Purchase sustainably made products and reuse products.

Another simple way to incorporate conservation into your life is to do some research and purchase products made sustainably rather than supporting businesses that aren’t sustainable.

The downside to this is that sustainably produced products are often more expensive. However, there is another option: reusing products. You can find many things secondhand, including clothing, technology, vehicles, and more. Perhaps consider stopping by a thrift shop or a secondhand store when purchasing goods. This option is also usually more affordable.

Take action.

Maybe it’s challenging to change your lifestyle, but there’s another way: taking action. Planting a tree is one of the simplest ways to help the environment. Though it may not seem like it, one tree can make a difference.

Another way is even more accessible – cleaning up trash. No matter where you are, you can almost always find pollution. Simply picking up a piece of trash off the ground can make a difference. “The Great Global Cleanup” is an international campaign that calls upon everyone to remove billions of pieces of trash from the environment and improve habitats. 

Start conversations.

Lastly, not everyone may have the means to incorporate conservation practices. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. Bruyere says not everyone in the world is responsible for environmental degradation. However, if you are unable to, then raise awareness. Use your voice to spark conversation about conservation and inform others on what they can do to practice conservation. It may seem like one person’s actions won’t matter but raising awareness is the first step to acting. 

Those are just a few ways that one can practice conservation and help to preserve the planet. While Earth Day is recognized globally for promoting conservation and celebrating Earth, that doesn’t mean the movement ends on the holiday.

Earth Day raises awareness for environmental issues that need to be addressed every day and no matter who or where you are, you have the power to make a difference. 

Your commitment matters. Our problems right now are at a scale that is so big. It’s a level of biodiversity loss that we talk about at a global level. Your action is not going to make a difference, but billions of people’s actions will.

Brett Bruyere
Earth Day (Image by Sergio Cerrato - Italia from Pixabay)
Earth Day (Image by Sergio Cerrato – Italia from Pixabay)
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