Hopefully I can convince you why earth day should be every day, not just today and inspire you to take action for our planet.
In the 1970s an astronaut crew aboard the Saturn V was on a mission to explore the moon, and while they took flight into the vast seemingly empty space, there she was. The very place they called home, in all its grandeur and astonishing elegance. It was as if for a moment we discovered the earth. As one big complex system with thick white clouds, green and brown patches of land and great oceans, all in this dark empty vacuum.
It was this cosmic perspective realised in 1967 that seemingly sparked the thoughts of many towards taking action to help save our planet.
When was earth day declared?
Mother Earth has existed for 4.5 billion years, in her prosperity she has been a habitat to nature and wildlife for about 800 million years. Through her resilience she’s stood the test of time, facing immense challenges but finding a way to overcome them and maintain the balance of all life in perfect harmony. She could live forever.
This began to change when the evolution of the Homo sapiens began. From hunters and gatherers 200,000 years ago to the modern day human being, with a very complex brain and populations that span far and wide in the billions. There was a new force on this planet that changed the course of Mother Nature’s existence forever. Welcome to the Anthropocene Epoch – a proposed geological time period dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.
As human beings we have used our immense brain power to shape our world. From creating simple tools that could make us efficient hunters to building sophisticated machines that exploit more and more of our mother’s resources while leaving the earth in a total mess.
Every time a new problem stood in our way we overcame it with our own wisdom, altering the earth’s structure and outlook and destroying the balance we had with Mother Earth.
Can you see it??
In our lifetime alone we have stood by as the world became warmer and warmer, ocean levels rising, species gone extinct, our rivers, air and oceans polluted and people, wildlife and nature put at great risk with the adverse effects of the climate change ravaging our planet. This should not be a surprise. These are the consequences of our behaviour, our mismanagement and our ignorance. We must act now! s we rely on to survive.
Sadly this has been going on since before the decades leading upto 1970. That is why in the spring of 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to force this issue onto the United States national agenda.
It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic smoke into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it.
How was that possible? Because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.
Twenty million Americans demonstrated in different U.S. cities, and it worked! In December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyEPA History: Earth Day https://www.epa.gov/history/epa-history-earth-day
By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day held on April 22nd led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
This would later yield the birth of several environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. In the subsequent years the U.S Congress passed the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and soon after the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction.
Earth Day today
Today, earth day stands as one of the largest observances in the world with over 1 Billion taking the time to honour this special day that has helped catalyse positive action that can shape our planet.
But can we observe earth day everyday?
Can we spend each day reflecting on our actions as a human race and evaluating how we utilise the resources on our planet and use days like these to unite for our planet. We cannot just wait for one calendar date to celebrate and create awareness for people to take action to save our planet. Because if we only do it once a year then we cannot make meaningful long lasting change. We need to have earth day as a recognition and evaluation of our actions so far. We must use this day to move forward and encourage more and more people to sweat the small stuff and make meaningful changes in their lives to help us turn the tide against the promotion of an unstable planet.
I am immensely inspired by the power that we have as a human race when we unite for action. By coming together and playing our different roles to improve the planet we can remarkably shape the future of our planet.
There is hope. If we can be mobilise ourselves to change the way:
- Our businesses operate-pushing them to set up measures that can allow them to get closer to net zero emissions and creating organisations that can invest in them to do so.
- We cultivate our food – have the willingness to adopt plant based diets and do away with beef, and heavily industrialised and unsustainable food production methods
- We treat our high seas, forests and wild spaces- we must treat them with respect, slow down encroachment and commercial fishing and actively take action towards rewilding the planet.
- We produce our energy and rapidly innovate and create sustainable ways of producing clean and renewable energy.
If we take these seemingly small baby steps then we can slow down the growing effects of climate change, species extinction and the several other issues that plague our home.
At the end of the day…
We must take all the necessary steps to improve our planet everyday, let us be educated, let us educate others and connect with nature. You can start small and help protect our planet by:
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. …
- Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. …
- Educate. …
- Conserve water. …
- Choose sustainable. …
- Shop wisely. …
- Use long-lasting light bulbs. …
- Plant a tree.
For more visit: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html
It really hurts me to see all the challenges our planet faces, it seems that everyday there’s a problem somewhere and several others that we don’t know about still lingering in the shadows. It always seems like the challenges that lie on our path to improving our planet seem to be growing by the day. The best part however is that there is hope. If we can focus on the pillars that play a big role towards the net health of our planet then we can truly make a difference. These pillars are: our agriculture, our energy production, our wild spaces management and our businesses.
Nature documentaries were at the heart of my childhood years. The local TV broadcast had a window between 5 pm and 7 pm every Sunday: my favorite two hours of the week. With no distractions, I would sit down and soak up the beauty of the world. I was in love.
This early investment in learning about nature and wildlife catalyzed my insatiable curiosity as I began to explore the magnificence of Kenya’s ecosystems and the threats that they faced by focusing on how energy contributes to accelerating them. I deeply questioned my purpose and how I could apply this keen interest of mine towards improving my world.
Whenever I go to the Nairobi National park, I start and end at a particular statue. An 8- foot figurine in green jungle camo’ uniform, with a rifle in his hands, gazing out into to the horizon. The statue serves to honor and celebrate the Kenya Wildlife Rangers and conservation heroes alike.
Below the statue lies a plaque with the words that always bring me to tears. I stand there and reflect on my life and the remarkable spark that brought me this way since my first encounter with the park.
I reflect on my role as a citizen, upcoming scientific researcher, and conservationist. Appreciating the enormous amount of meaningful work that has gone into the park to ensure that I can visit it and enjoy its mystical blessing. I recognize all the work that is yet to be done. Therefore, I tune in and try to learn as much from the heroes fallen or living, who have fought to keep this park and other conservancies and wild spaces alive, and I am spurred to action to do better, to inform, to educate, to take action in order for this park to continue to live way beyond my lifetime.
I have decided to dedicate my time and my intellectual curiosities towards helping improve our planet by deciding to take a career path that can allow me to help our planet. By learning ways we can improve the way we produce our energy and helping lead innovation within the frontier of science, I believe that I can be part of the revolution that can allow us to come up with newer and more efficient renewable energy technologies.
But I can’t do it alone and hence the reason I share so much about the park on my blog, social media, and even in my conversations with others. On the off chance that my stories and engagements inspire more people to begin making a difference. I have started with the basics that I listed above and have continued to grow my passions while finding ways to anchor them back to the environment and I hope that this inspires you to do the same.
Therefore, do not be afraid to start today, to take a step towards improving our planet and finding the seemingly small ways that you can align your purpose with the needs of our planet. Let this earth day and my story inspire you to start today and be a change maker in your community, uniting and inspiring others to also play their roles and help save Mother Earth. We are because she is, let’s not forget that.
Happy Earth day 2021!
Above are some of the engaging stories on Rhinos, Lions, climate awareness and some personal adventures at the Nairobi National Park that I’ve shared on my Instagram stories and highlights
Here’s a short film you can watch 🙂