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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Do More Than Celebrating Earth Day

Last week on April 22, “Earth Day” was celebrated all around the globe. If you didn’t know about this “celebration” before that day, you most likely learned about it after logging onto social media. People were posting sweet messages about their love for the planet, sharing earth-day centered posts on their stories, etc. The support for the care and protection of the earth seemed endless. 
However, there is something really frustrating in the way that the earth and the protection of the earth is celebrated one day out of the entire year. Furthermore, there seems to be a growing desensitization to what Earth Day is truly about. On Earth Day, it may have seemed nice to be posting photos of you in your favorite scenery, similar to your friends, and showing your love for the planet you live on—of course, in the end, you are helping spread awareness. However, some people completely missed the point of what the day is actually for and “celebrated” Earth Day without truly understanding the environmental issues we are dealing with and how severe they are.
In the US, there are a lot of people who seem to be concerned for the environment, but don’t make an active effort throughout the year to actually help the environment. In an article by the Pew Research Center, it’s reported: “Among U.S. adults, 75 percent say they are particularly concerned about helping the environment as they go about their daily lives, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey. But only one-in-five Americans say they make an effort to live in ways that help protect the environment ‘all the time.’” (1)
For me, there is a lot of frustration in the way people preach their environmental love on one day of the year, and then fail to show that support and concern on any other day, which in the end is what will make the largest difference. 
And despite what people may think, the earth does need rescuing. 
Global warming is rising at an unnatural rate because of human activities that release greenhouse gases. As of 2018, the global temperature was 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than average and is projected to increase even more. (2) We are also seeing a rise in pollution, as “each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are dumped into US water.” (3) And what may be surprising is that “pollution is one of the biggest global killers, affecting over 100 million people [around the world].” (3) These are only a few on the list of environmental issues that need to be dealt with, and we’re falling behind at working on them.
With this being said, there are simple ways to stay green throughout the year like using your voice, joining in political conversation, volunteering at events like beach cleanups, reducing your waste, traveling more responsibly, and eating sustainably. If you are passionate about the environment, I encourage you to educate yourself on different ways you can help. Take time out of your day to research and pledge yourself to helping the earth. 
No one is expecting you to completely change your lifestyle—that’s a hard thing to do—especially all at once. But there are small things that can be done in your daily life that can make a difference and help protect the planet we call home. 
1 https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/20/for-earth-day-heres-how-americans-view-environmental-issues/
2 https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/139/graphic-global-warming-from-1880-to-2018/
3 https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-pollution

About the Contributor
Mikayla Mackay, Arts & Lifestyle Editor