Curtis Gaines III, Features Editor
On April 22, the United States will celebrate its 50th annual Earth Day. With the coronavirus putting most of the country under quarantine, the planet is doing its part restoring itself due to the lack of human interference. A few weeks into quarantine, reports from ZME Science stated that the ozone layer was in the process of recovering and regenerating the circulation of winds throughout the planet. Similar reports of less air pollution from public transportation have also been reported in the aftermath of quarantine from coronavirus.
With the Earth doing its part to restore itself, it is also up to us civilians to do our part to protect the planet. The purpose of Earth Day is to bring awareness and to incite action for protecting the environment. This year’s theme for Earth Day is climate action. According to Earth Day’s official website, climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
That being said, there are many little ways that can all contribute to the preservation of the Earth. One simple way is to reduce pollution. Instead of finishing that bag of Doritos and carelessly discarding it by throwing it on the ground, put it in your pocket until you can find a garbage can to dispose of it in.
Sure you might stain your pants with Dorito dust, but you can easily wash it out. However, what you can’t wash out is the Earth once it is past the point of repair. You may think that your jeans are important, but the Earth has been around longer and should be treated with the respect that it deserves.
Another way to reduce pollution is to avoid plastic waste as much as possible. The reason why plastic is commonplace almost everywhere is that it is cheap and easy to produce. The only problem with that is that plastic is that it’s toxic and difficult to dispose of. With the overproduction of plastic, remnants are typically found on streets and oceans, which is harmful to humans and animals.
Some towns across the United States, like Paramus, have been doing their part by banning plastic bags and styrofoam altogether for businesses. Although it may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme, every contribution helps.
According to Mayor Richard LaBarbiera, the purpose of the ban is for other towns to follow suit since Paramus is the home to three malls and is one of the biggest shopping capitals in the country. Other towns in Bergen County, like Glen Rock, Saddle Brook and Ridgewood have implemented similar bans on plastic products.
With towns doing their parts to contribute to preservation, us residents have the capability of doing the same. Instead of getting a new bottle of water every time you’re thirsty, drinking from a filtered water source with a reusable bottle is a more efficient way to stay hydrated and reduce plastic waste. If you decide to go shopping in a town that has not banned plastic, reusable bags also helps with reducing waste. Although it may seem like an inconvenience now, think of the bigger picture and that future generations would want to enjoy the same planet.
Although a lot of this information is not new for many readers, it is extremely critical at this time for everyone to do our part individually to protect the environment that we inhabit. Previous generations did not have the same information that we do about the dangers of climate change that the planet is facing at this moment. With Earth Day, the purpose is to take an opportunity to show appreciation to the planet by actively aiding in its recovery.
Although quarantine this year makes it a little easier for the Earth to restore itself, there is still much more that we need to do to ensure a safe environment for generations that follow in our footsteps.