Earth Day’s 51st anniversary celebrated this year

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Sanyu Srikanth

EARTHDAY.ORG planned events for 3 days of climate action in honor of Earth Day.

Sanyu Srikanth, Copy Editor

Every year on April 22, the Earth is celebrated all around the world, and people show support for environmental protection by engaging in reform efforts to better the future of the Earth. This year marks Earth Day’s 51st anniversary and this year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth.”

“For me, Earth Day is a day to celebrate the nature that we have, as well as celebrating past and current conservation efforts like the national parks, trails and reserves,” freshman Kheya Siripurapu said. “It’s a day to reflect on what we still need to do as individuals and a community.”

Due to COVID-19, a day where people from all over would’ve gathered to clean the environment has gone digital. With social distancing protocols, people await to attend virtual events and alternate activities.

“[Last] summer, I was a nanny and I would go to the creek by the [owner’s] house and [the kids and I] picked up trash all summer,” senior Victoria Turtiainen said. “[We] would be so surprised how much trash there is.”

According to EARTHDAY.ORG, world leaders take part in virtual events from April 20-22 to speak up about the potential disasters that the planet faces such as climate change and environmental destruction. This year’s celebration starts off with a global youth climate summit on April 20 where young climate activists like Greta Thunberg speak up. 

“[From the panels], the activist that I look up to the most is Greta Thunberg,” Turtiainen said. “[Although] she has faced hate from country leaders, she has never let that stop her from her mission to educate us towards environmental conservation.” 

I think Earth Day should receive more attention. We should be doing hands-on experiences that will make a lasting impact on people’s lives, beyond the three R’s and just reading a book about Earth Day.”

— freshman Kheya Siripurapu

On April 21, the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit” will launch where activists from all around the world emphasize the importance of climate education. Lastly, on Earth Day, the Biden Administration Global Climate Summit will introduce new emerging green technologies and strategies.

Earth Day gives local communities the opportunity to contribute to the environment by cleaning. In Fairfax County, Virginia, the event “Family Fun: Earth Day Celebration” was scheduled for families to take part in fun activities like face painting, poetry, and pictures all to learn about Earth Day and to collectively decorate a tree. 

“Personally not just on Earth Day, but on a daily basis, I am passionate about working on stormwater management because of the water scarcity crisis that we have going on worldwide right now,” Siripurapu said. “I will continue to speak up about building rain gardens in which garden filters will be used to clean and send back clean water to ponds and rivers. It is an efficient tool that can be implemented throughout our community on a daily basis.”

As the importance of conservation heightens on Earth Day, people from all around the world can contribute by accessing the Earth Day website and local websites in order to find ways to vocalize for more environmental courses, starting more cleanups, voting for legislation to further protect the Earth and more.

“I think Earth Day should receive more attention. We should be doing hands-on experiences that will make a lasting impact on people’s lives, beyond the three R’s and just reading a book about Earth Day,” Siripurapu said. “We should be doing more, taking on bigger projects that will include all members of the community and actually affect our community.”