Art by Phoebe Hughes

Every day can be Earth Day

Green Campus, CCAT, WRRAP and Associated Students have organized an Earth Week
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Green Campus, CCAT, WRRAP and Associated Students have organized an Earth Week

A buzz is on campus as Earth Week begins, a celebration of progress towards a bright green tomorrow. The theme is “Building Resilience in a Time of Climate Crisis.”

In the Kate Buchanan Room, Green Campus took reduce, reuse, recycle to a whole new level, kicking off Earth Week with a ‘Trashion’ show. Participants used recycled rugs, sheets and even toilet paper rolls to create one-of-a-kind fashion masterpieces. The goal was simply to bring awareness to waste.

Kassidy Fosdick of Green Campus said the Trashion Show was a great way to get people involved in Earth Week.

“Trashion Show is a great communal gathering,” Fosdick said. “We have a big message and we need a lot of time to communicate it.”

Building resilience in a time of climate crisis is a bold, challenging initiative. It requires people to start paying attention and adapting to a reality that will otherwise be a rude awakening.

To be resilient to climate change, people must be prepared to use less water, buy food grown closer to home and turn the lights on later in the evening.

Mark Farrell, a student studying energy and climate encourages anyone who hasn’t began to be conservation-minded to catch up.

“If you haven’t realized how to live a less wasteful life by now, it’s time to figure it out,” Farrell said. “Earth Day isn’t the only day to be environmentally friendly. We should be living that way every day. Make every day Earth Day.”

Earth Day, April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans turned their faces towards the warm spring sun. Sweet-smelling flowers were tucked behind the ears of beautiful humans.

Fifth Avenue, New York, NY was closed off to celebrate the very first Earth Day. Rolling music wafted through the streets as thousands of people marched to advocate for action to heal a sick planet.

Gaylord Nelson was the founder of the Earth Day movement. His will caused the first Earth Day to happen. In 1970, on a stage in Denver Colorado, here is what he had to say.

“Earth Day is dramatic evidence of a broad new national concern that cuts across generations and ideologies,” Nelson said. “It may be symbolic of a new communication between young and old about our values and priorities.”

Nelson had witnessed the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and demanded something be done about it. The United States was rocked with disaster after ecological disaster as the Cuyahoga River caught on fire, also in 1969. Unrestrained and unregulated smoke stacks poured smog into the atmosphere, poisoning the citizens of the United States.

“Establishing [environmental] quality on a par with quantity is going to require new national policies that quite frankly will interfere with what many have considered their right to use and abuse the air, the water, the land, just because that is what we have always done,” Nelson said.

Today, the planet continues to face an assault from humanity. Pollution is more subtle now, but the impacts on Earth are just as severe. Society’s demand for things requires massive amounts of natural resources to be extracted, processed and consumed.

These processes release Carbon Dioxide in excessive amounts, which has been proven time and time again to create a destructive warming effect on the planet.

Dillon Anderson with the Energy and Climate Professionals Club on campus went over some ways to decarbonize your life.

“One low-cost change would be to switch your electricity service to a 100% renewable source, with Redwood Coast Energy Authority for example,” Anderson said. “Beyond that, make small adjustments to your lifestyle.”

Every single human can give a helping hand to Earth. Any great American should want to protect the unique and precious landscape we’re blessed with. From sea to shining sea, citizens have the opportunity to make change. It’s simple. Biking or riding the bus to school may be a little less convenient than a car, but it can save buckets of money and will improve health while also reducing emissions.

On Wednesday April, 24 in Nelson Hall East there will be a Humboldt County Climate Action Plan Forum. All are encouraged to attend.

CCAT co-director Karina Coronado said it was important to get everybody involved in the climate conversation.

“When it comes to the Earth, as inhabitants, we are collaborating towards a shared vision,” Coronado said. “With events on the quad, we get to meet people beyond those in science. Climate needs to be an inter-sectional issue. All inhabitants are part of the community.”

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