Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual day, observed on April 22, in which the World demonstrates its support of environmental protection. It also happens that it is my wife’s birthday and the one-year anniversary of this blog. 🙂 It is a special day that needs special celebration on all three fronts.

The day was recognized by the United Nation in 2009 and is celebrated in one form or another worldwide. The preamble to the United Nation’s declaration is given below:



In Address, Bolivia’s President Says 60 Years after Human Rights, Declaration ‘Mother Earth Is Now, Finally, Having Her Rights Recognized’

As the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed today International Mother Earth Day, Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma applauded the Members of the world body who had “taken a historic stand for Mother Earth” by acknowledging humanity’s common interest in the protection of the planet and its environment.

“Sixty years after adopting the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights], Mother Earth is now, finally, having her rights recognized,” said President Morales, immediately following the Assembly’s unanimous adoption of a resolution designating 22 April each year as International Mother Earth Day (A/63/L.69).

Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann thanked Bolivia for having taken the lead in bringing the resolution to the Assembly and added that, by declaring the International Day, Member States recognized their responsibility, as called for in the Rio Declaration, adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Earth Summit,” to promote harmony with nature and the planet to achieve a just balance among economic, social and environmental needs of the present and future generations of humanity.

By the text, the Assembly acknowledged that “the Earth and its ecosystems are our home,” and expressed its conviction that, in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, “it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.”

Earth Day is coordinated globally through the Earth Day Network. On the Earth Day Network one can find various suggestions how to celebrate the day. These suggestions include:

  1. Become a climate reporter by uploading a picture of yourself being impacted by climate change or taking action against it and thus helping the network to construct a global mosaic.
  2. Protect our clean air by telling the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to enforce the “Clean Air Act.”
  3. Recycle your E-waste. Every year, thousands of old electronic devices are thrown into landfills, when they could have been recycled.
  4. Once you have decided what to do, submit your commitment through the network.

In order to honor the three events that I simultaneously celebrate, I have decided to try to dig deeper. One of the earlier manifestations of Earth Day was proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson and was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 as an environmental “teach-in” day. Following this tradition, I feel that the best way to celebrate, with potentially the greatest impact, is to spread the word not by posting on a network on the internet, but through discussion with family and friends.

Yesterday, I had a class on Climate Change at my school. We talked about Earth Day, with a special emphasis on what we as individuals can do, as well as how we can convince our family and friends to do something of their own. We also discussed trying to get these friends and family to try to spread the word to their respective family and friends. I asked the students to write a comment to this blog that describes what they did and the reaction that they have experienced. I am calling on all of you, dear readers, to join my students in this effort.

My birthday is not far away (toward the end of May). It will be a good opportunity to dedicate another blog to this effort to find out the concrete results (and to remember that pledges and promises are not equivalent to actions).

About climatechangefork

Micha Tomkiewicz, Ph.D., is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics, Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is also a professor of physics and chemistry in the School for Graduate Studies of the City University of New York. In addition, he is the founding-director of the Environmental Studies Program at Brooklyn College as well as director of the Electrochemistry Institute at that same institution.
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22 Responses to Earth Day

  1. Jia Qi Zhang says:

    To be honest, I kind of forgot about the existence of Earth Day. Reading this just reminds me of when I was in elementary school and the teachers would spend the day celebrating earth day whether it’s making posters or having a conversation on ways to protect Earth. However, as middle school and high school took place, I feel as if Earth Day wasn’t really brought up by either my classmates or teachers. Hence, I slowly forget about the fact that such a day exist. The argument that I am tying to make is that slowly as people grow up, they tend to forget about some things and focuses on more important things in life whereas if you’re just a little kid, then you would be more exposed to these little, simple things that happens in life.

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  4. Ludmila K says:

    It was difficult to start writing about my everyday habits on minimizing personal impact on climate change situation. For a couple of weeks, after Professor Tomkiewicz had announced the assignment, I thought of what I could truthfully write and realized that I don’t know much about the subject. Climate change is often discussed between my husband and me. However, recognizing the problem, we never really seriously discussed reducing carbon emissions produced by our household. Instead we were mostly focused on energy transition, ice melting, fracking, long term consequences of carbon emission but never really about doing what is under our control. My personal choices seemed very insignificant on the global scale until I truthfully admitted that I myself am part of the problem.

    Basically, what we did up to recently was partially due to chance. We live in a building where most of the garbage is recycled, as the result we got used to separating garbage between plastic, metal and glass and all other. Also, my husband works at a company which provides an option to recycle electronics and batteries, so we do it because we have the opportunity. Even though my parents in law provide us access to their car, we don’t drive much because is not much more time effective than taking the train and parking in the city is too expensive for our budget.

    Still, after that class, we have realized that there are other options which we can use to help in the transition to green energy. While researching, my mother shared information about a rapidly growing green energy company called Viridian. They provide two energy plans, in one 20% of energy comes from renewable source and in the second all 100% comes from renewable sources. The difference between 100% renewable energy and the amount that we pay now is not that significant, so in near future we plan to transition to it. It was a pleasurable surprise that my mother was the one to give the idea, and she seems to be very positive about green energy in general.

    However, most of our close friends and relatives are not interested in the subject of climate change. I heard that it is a scam, climate has changed before, a way to make more money, and a couple of people had even told me that most likely government has already developed a plan and produced technology necessary for the worst case scenario anyway. Still, majority of them recycle their garbage and use energy saving light bulbs. Some even agreed to invest in renewable sources of energy because it makes sense to have cleaner air in the cities.

    There are many transitions that our society will have to go through in order to sustain the nature that we have now. The changes necessary seem significant; however, in my opinion, as more options such as Viridian arise, the transition will become much smoother as long as we share the information with close ones. Biodegradable products, renewable energy, cleaner air in the cities, and partially self-sustainable cities are the future that we need to build now, if not for our sake then for the future generations. Our family’s carbon emissions will go down significantly because now this is the main focus at our table and hopefully in coming future, it will be the subject discussed at our relatives’ tables too.

  5. Calvin Clement says:

    Earth day is key in the way we live our lives and those after us for generations to come. I will conserve more energy and recycle because i know how it is ti my environment as a whole. I will also plant trees to help the earth. Earth day help me realize how important it is to do the little things to help preserve our planet.

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    about here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

  7. Juan Acosta says:

    Earth day was a term that I heard thrown around but really knew nothing about. I learned that Earth day was not only an annual event that celebrates the Earth but a day to promote environmental stewardship. During my quest to find out more about Earth Day I learned that the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. So I ask myself what can I do to celebrate Earth Day and what are my friends and family doing to celebrate Earth Day as well. So I did a little research. I learned that you can plant trees and recycled trash but I ask myself is this all? Of course not I found that there are plenty of other things to do on Earth Day. I learned that I can buy or make environmental friendly product. For example swap my bleach cleaner for something more environmentally friendlier like mixing vinegar and water which contains less toxic. I also committed to take more public transportation so I could reduce my carbon footprint. So this got me wondering what are my friends and family doing for Earth Day. When I asked my mother what is she doing for Earth Day she asked me what is Earth Day. So I explained to her that Earth day is a day to celebrate the Earth and promote environmental stewardship. My mother told me that she was doing nothing for Earth Day because first she didn’t know there was such a thing as Earth Day plus she didn’t know what to do for Earth Day. So I suggested that she use reusable shopping bags when she goes grocery shopping. She said to me she never thought about that. So now for Earth Day she will use reusable shopping bag so she can promote environmental stewardship. After asking my mother what she going to do to celebrate Earth Day I ask my sister what she going to do for Earth Day. She told me that for Earth Day she was going to donate money to World Wildlife Fund and not drive for the day. Later during the day I ask my friends what are they going to do for Earth day. Some said they were not going to drive for a day others said they were going to plant some trees and plants while others said they were going to do nothing because they are too busy with work and school. My family said pretty much the same thing that they were going to do nothing not because they hate the environment just that they are too busy with work. So I recommended to them that they could recycle their trash or buy more environmental friendly products. Then they ask me what environmental friendly product they should buy. So I told them they could buy fluorescent light bulbs which take up less electricity and last longer than the regular light bulbs. I also told them that they can buy green products from websites like Although my journey started trying to find out more about Earth Day I learned that there are plenty of things we can do to promote environmental stewardship. I learned that the most important thing is not only doing environmentally friendly things but educating other people on how they can be more environmentally friendly. I think the biggest lesson of Earth is teaching other about environmental stewardship and what we can do to help. Although we can’t reach everyone we can all do are part to help the environment.

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  9. Nermin cecunjanin says:

    There is no denying the fact that we as a species need to change our behavior because of the negative impact it is having on the earth. Earth Day is one of those days in which we can teach and inspire others to take action against our own poor behavior that has contributed to the earth’s deterioration. However, the problem lies with actually finding people who are committed enough to make changes in their lives in order to protect the environment. Like many problems in the world, we have only devoted one day a year in which we stress the importance of being environmentally conscious. What we need to do is stress this kind of stuff on a day-to-day basis, so that people will basically be bombarded with information on the effects of their behavior.
    I personally have worked at a restaurant for the last 7 years in BayRidge Brooklyn.The reason I mention this is because restaurants tend to go through a lot of recyclable materials and yet they are never actually recycled. Unfortunately, my job does not separate recycalables from trash, and when I asked my boss why this was the case, he stated that he never considered recycling because it would take up too much space in the restaurant to separate everything. On an average week at my job, I would estimate that we go through about 200-250 glass bottles of wine. This is just on of the items that we could be recycling, but no one has taken initiative to correct this problem. After explaining to my boss that something simple like recycling glass and plastic bottles could have a serious impact on the environment, he seemed surprised by how little it would take to fix the problem in his restaurant. All he would have to do is have 3 bins, one for trash, one for plastic and one for glass, that way each could be disposed of properly. Our conversation took place a little more than a week ago, and I have yet to see any new bins for recyclables. Only time will tell whether or not any changes will be made at my job.
    At my own house, recycling is a must especially when my parents are around. Both my parents are firm believers that little changes can be made to improve the overall cleanliness and quality of our Earth. Outside of our house there are three bins, one for trash, one for recycling and the last for paper products. If we do not properly sort our garbage, inspectors from waste management will fine us. The fines are not overwhelming, but they are significant enough to get us to sort our garbage and place each item in the correct bin.
    When I talk to my friends about being environmentally conscious, they seem to have a very narrow minded approach, in which they tell me that the environment will not be their problem, because they be dead before it takes any major effect on Earth. This is perhaps the thing that bothers me most, people who feel that they are not responsible for their actions, and do not care what happens down the line, maybe not in their lifetime, but in the lifetimes of their kids and grandkids.

  10. Keith Kirsch says:

    Every earth day that arrives, is different then the last one. Every year that passes, students as well as regular folks, are more aware of the consequences of our actions on our planet. So, every year that passes, we are all more guilty for not making a change. It is our responsibility as inhabitants of this beautiful planet, to make small changes to take our part. But, just making a few changes ourselves is not enough anymore. People have become so connected that it is possible that with the help of as many people as possible, the word can be spread and real action can be taken. Upon hearing Professor Tomkiewicz lecture on the importance of Earth day, I realized that for the first time in my life, I had someone capable of proving that taking action on building a sustainable future is not just a choice, but a duty. Many people like myself have lived many years without a clue that this planet is in danger. If there is anything that can serve as a benchmark for human progress, it would be a social movement by everyone on earth to stop our waste, stop corporations from profiting on the earth’s demise, and force politicians to make changes or lose their privilege. So, for earth day, I took Professor Tomkiewicz advice, and decided that the best way I can make a difference is simply by spreading the word to family and friends. I documented conversating with 7 different people. Those 7 people all committed to speaking with 2 other people. That makes 21 people hearing this voice of change. Hopefully, some of my family and friends will spread the word even farther. Just knowing that I helped spread the word around to this many people makes me feel very proud. I feel like I am officially part of the network of individuals who will INEVITABLY bring about a change in thinking about the way we treat this planet. Taking Professor Tomkiewicz class titled Climate Change and Energy use, has been a great experience, but this Earth day experiment actually showed me how Professor’s ideas can be translated out of a textbook, and into the minds of people everywhere.

  11. A Muir says:

    I think of myself as a very “green” person, I try to conserve energy as much as I can. I recycle all the time, switch off the lights when there are not being used, turn down the refrigerator and water heater in my home, use florescent lights and try not to use my car as much as others do. Yes, indeed I am a person that helps in saving the Earth but I had to find out if the persons closest to me were doing the same thing. I decided to ask my mother, aunts and best friend what they were going to do on Earth Day and continue to do in efforts to help the environment.
    “Sarah”, my mother, said that she really didn’t know what “conserving energy” entails, so I had to break it down for her a little. After about a hour of explaining what it really is, she concluded that she was very “pro-Earth” all along and didn’t even know it. She pointed out to me that she was the one that thought me how to make a compost heap, and she was the one that told me to turn off the lights when it wasn’t in use (although her motive was to decrease the bill not to conserve energy), and finally she was the one that told me to use a water bottle and plastic bag from the grocery stores more than once. After a very strenuous but hilarious interview with my mother, I went on to my two aunts.
    My aunts, “Mavis and Claire”, said that they weren’t really into the whole “Earth Day” thing that they didn’t really see it as a big deal. “Mavis” said specifically that she didn’t believe in “all that nonsense” and said that “if the Earth was suppose to die, it would have been dead a long time ago.” “Claire” said that she wasn’t interested at all in Earth Day and furthermore highlighted that she didn’t even know people celebrated Earth Day. They didn’t feel the need to talk about it any more so I called my best friend to ask her the same question I asked my mother and aunts.
    My best friend, “Monica”, said that she conserves energy on a regular basis and feels the need to “protect” the Earth constantly. I asked her to elaborate, so she said that since it seems like no one is trying to help in climate change, it is very important that she tries her best to do something. She partakes in programmes about climate change and conservation of energy and tries her best to make people aware of the Earth and what’s going on today.

  12. Anthony Mustacchio says:

    In honor of Earth Day, I spoke to my boss, John, about his steps in living a “greener” lifestyle. He is somewhat of a political activist leaning towards the left, so I knew he’d try to take a hand in helping the environment – little did I know was how much good he actually does for the planet. For starters, he walks to work almost every day. He lives about 2 miles away, but still makes the trek on foot every day, unless there’s nasty weather. “Plus, I could use the exercise,” he commented.

    Around the house, he makes sure his family helps him in conserving energy and trying to help keep the environment healthy. John told me how he got his wife into the habit of walking places instead of driving as well, and how he’s getting his kids to help conserve electricity: “when my son would leave one room, he would leave all the lights and the TV on if he planned on coming back. I’ve put a stop to that… from now on, when he leaves a room or is not using something, it gets turned off.” John plans on following this rule himself. In order to conserve water, he explained that he’s attempted to get his family to limit themselves to 5-10 minute showers. “No standing around singing in the shower,” he laughed. He’s a large advocate of solar energy, and has solar lights in his backyard to cut down on electricity. Also in his backyard is his own vegetable garden, where he grows most of his own vegetables. And, of course, he recycles.

    John’s biggest effort to help the environment, however, comes not from home, but at work, where he not only goes green himself, but spreads the idea to others as well. At the grocery store in which we work, he’s a large force behind the plan for us to “green the environment.” He heavily promotes the selling and usage of canvas bags as opposed to constantly using multiple plastic bags. He follows this practice himself every time he shops, and encourages customers and fellow employees to do the same. John makes sure that the shelf is stocked with environmentally-friendly products like long-lasting light bulbs (for inside the house, of course) and not only buys and uses them himself, but promotes these products to customers through pre-recorded announcements that play on the loudspeaker. The store also has an on-site compactor and recycles, all managed by John.
    John stays true to trying to make the Earth a better place, as long as the environment is concerned. He not only goes out of his way to conserve energy and electricity at home, but brings the idea to work. It’s inspiring that he not only tries to make an environmentally-friendly world by himself, but spreads the idea to others as best as he can so others will help make the world a better place. I’m definitely inspired by his methods, and have begun to adopt them myself: from taking shorter showers, to walking to work, and turning off the electronic devices when not in use. It’s the small things that help make the larger impact, and John and I are on it.

  13. Anna Paltseva says:

    It breaks my heart when I see garbage on the streets or free running water in a sink. I freak out when some of my friends turn on the water and walk around while water is running. I make sure my friends do not throw out trash from the windows of a car or from their pockets as a lot people do. They have stopped doing that (at least not while I’m there). I studied at the department of “Ecology and Nature management” in Russia and am obtaining my degree in “Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies” at Brooklyn College, I take environmental issues personally.
    My family, who lives in Russia, knows my passion about ecology, so they are quite familiar with the Earth Day. They make their contribution into decreasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by planting green plants, trees and bushes, in the garden and nearby territory. They produce organic food, vegetable and fruits, without using pesticides and a minimum of mineral fertilizers and they apply bio fertilizer. Also my mother and sister use mostly water and reusable napkins to clean the house, car, or whatever needs to be clean instead of using cleaning products consisting of aerosols that increase greenhouse gases. In the house we use energy-efficient bulbs to lower energy use and the cost of electricity. We usually soak dishes in soap and then wash them with water. We wash vegetables and fruits in a bowl to save water.
    I always turn off lights when I leave a room that my mom would say, “Anya, leave some lights on at least in one room, I can’t see where to go.” Both my mom and sister are accountants, so they use a lot of paper at work. That’s why we use already used paper for secondary usage, drafts or any printing, instead of throwing it in the garbage. I was inspired by professor’s Tomkievicz material about “What Can I Do, and What Can I Learn from Doing It?” presented in his book “Climate Change: The Fork at the End of Now”, I told my father how important it is to close windows in the house during the winter in order to save heat and the family’s savings. Also I explained to him the importance of unplugging electric equipment that they don’t use very often to save energy. Now he even unplugs the microwave.
    I have a friend who is very sensitive to environmental issues. She doesn’t even buy cosmetics which are tested on animals and non-organic food and products. She always recycles her garbage, separating paper, glass and domestic waste. She takes public transportation because she doesn’t think it is reasonable to drive a car only for one person which causes increases of carbon dioxide. Moreover, I showed her the movie about alternative energy in India made by professor Tomkievicz. She was so impressed by new alternative technology that I invited her to watch a documentary of the Switch Energy Project with our Geological Society.

  14. n.dujour says:

    Initially i didn’t know much about earth day up until recently. I assumed most others i knew probably had the same conceptions, despite the common knowledge we all have about the funny business with the current fluctuations in weather. I knew something had to be done to help the planet and being more green. So i set out to ask a few close friends and family what they were going to do on earth day.

    When i asked most of my friends say they recycle and re-use their coffee cups and or water bottles , my parents donate clothes and other goods to charitable organizations. as i researched more about earth day i found that there were hundreds of ways to help the environment. Most of the things are relatively inexpensive and require little work with big pay off.

    I also found that many of things i already do in my daily life are already ways of helping the planet. For instance i don’t like the harsh chemicals and residue of commercial store bought cleaners so i make my own out of the ends of lemons and limes that usually would be tossed in the trash and soak them in distilled vinegar…in which saves money and i have a natural home made disinfectant. Another thing i have been doing for year is using CFL light bulbs, not only do these last 10x as long as regular light bulbs but the amount of money saved was enough initiative to convert and be green. When i asked my friends what things they might not be aware of doing on a daily basis i found that they also do minor things. most of my friends my walk or take public transit just because its faster and traffic and parking in NYC sucks, but a green movement nonetheless.

    So for my earth day me and my close and family decided to join together for a greater cause. We rallied together with some tools and loads of dirt and planted trees all across our yards. Donated goods to charitable organizations, gave back hangers to dry cleaners and recycled old bottles, newspaper……and hugged a few trees along the way.


  15. Adelina says:

    I have always thought of myself as being pretty conscious about the environment. I am mindful to not litter, try to clean everything, recycle, and not waste whatever I use. Turns out I was quite wrong in thinking that I am so super Earth friendly! I realized that when talking to my mother about Earth Day and learning her behavior towards saving and maintaining “mother nature”.
    My mother’s actions are very well thought out. She is always thinking about how to efficiently use water, paper, electricity, gas, and even food!
    For example, right at that time when I talked to her about it, she had a problem in her bathroom – the toilet was constantly leaking and definitely needed to be fixed. How smart she was – I would probably not even notice the leak to my own embarrassment – by finding a switch somewhere underneath which stopped the water. She only turns it on before it’s needed and turns it off right after. She added that she does not want the whole building to overpay for water that is leaking through without use. That is incredible – she found a temporary solution to a problem before the technicians could come – as it turns out the solution was easy!
    My mom also does not excessively buy magazines, books and other items made of paper. She says this is the age of Internet, so if she wants to read something she can always read it online. She found an online library, where she can read books for free!
    I have also noticed that my mom does not have lights everywhere in her apartment – when she moves from room to room, she never forgets to turn off the lights. On the contrary, when I stay with my mom, I wind up leaving the lights on all throughout the apartment.
    Furthermore, my mom uses very little detergent when she does laundry. To boost the detergent naturally, she uses baking soda and adds vinegar to the rinse cycle – the natural way to kill odor and bacteria.
    My mom is also very cautious with food. She does not buy more than she can eat and she never throws food away. Someone else in this country might be starving and needs this food, so my mother concluded the food should better be in her fridge, stomach, or in the store.
    There is a lot to think about – so many easy ways to contribute to our environment. It comes down to being aware and paying attention. There are so many widely available and not advertised environmentally friendly chemicals that do not destroy fabrics with harsh chemicals, do not leave residue on metal that leads to machine failures, and most importantly, are safe to our own skin!
    It is easy to be environmentally friendly, we just have to think about it a little. The best example is our older generation – they know better.

  16. n. dujour says:

    I didn’t know much about earth day relatively until this year. I would suspect that most people probably didn’t know that there was such a thing as earth day or even what to do on earth day at all. So, i rallied up a few close friends and family members setting out to find out what is the real meaning of earth day and how it should be celebrated.

    Initially only 2 of the people i asked what were they doing on earth day had an answer , everyone else shrugged sort of with confused faces. Everyone did know something about climate change and the sudden funny business with the constant fluctuations with the weather, but to not get technical we knew we ultimately had to do something to make a change some how no matter how small.

    As i began to do some research i found it funny that there were somethings that i already do in my daily life that helps the environment. For instance i don’t like residues or the harsh smell of toxic cleaners so i often opt for the natural kind, preferably i use the end of lemons and limes that would ordinarily be thrown in the trash and soak them in a jar with distilled vinegar creating my own home made household disinfectant. I’ve also use for years opted in using Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), which do last 10x longer than an original light bulb…so money saved was a good initiative. But as i looked more into ways of being green i found out there are hundreds of ways to save the planet and cash.

    Speaking to my family and friends they also have been doing little things to help the planet, my parents often donate clothes and items to charitable friends stay green by using re-usable coffee cups and water bottles and often times walk to their destination..although that might be in part because NYC traffic sucks, but none the less a green movement.

    With the help of my family and friends we decided we will make earth day special. we gathered some tools and gloves and a whole bunch of dirt and decided to each plant a tree in our yards, as well as bringing back hangers to the dry cleaners, recycling old newspapers and bottles and not stuffing our faces with burgers for the day to all show our love for mother nature. Hopefully me day everyone will celebrate earth day and do something no matter how small, especially since the future depends on it …..literally .

    Happy Earth!!!!!

  17. A. Kheyfets says:

    Earth day is a day of awareness focusing on global environmental issues and to educate the public to practice various alternatives for daily life in respect for the world we live in.
    There are various activities which can be performed not only on Earth day, but year round for the environmental benefit of our planet. When I was in Kingsborough Community College, there were active volunteer groups on campus comprised of college students who would involve themselves in environmentally friendly activities. I myself was involved in such activities for one semester. Last year on April 22nd, seven volunteers on campus including myself, went around planting trees and flowers throughout the campus grounds. It was a great experience. We all worked together as a group, and not only was it fun, it was also a very educational experience. I learned about many different types of trees and plants, the proper way to grow them, the appropriate atmospheric conditions that are required for them to prosper and ofcourse, the benefits of planting trees for our environment.
    I never really did much to help our environment, but as I began to learn about the harsh consequences that our society’s actions have on our planet in the long run, I began to wonder what more I can do to help. I spoke with my mother the other day to inform her of these consequences and to see if she has done anything in particular to participate in the movement. Unfortunately, she did not inform me of anything that I already haven’t been aware of. We live in a private residential area so it is our responsibility to always recycle. We have different trash bins to separate different materials. We have a separate bin for paper, a separate one for plastics and a separate one for glass. I asked her why there isn’t more that she does to involve herself in trying to make the place we live in more environmentally friendly, and her response was, “Well, I think recycling is more than enough because many people don’t even do that much, but as for other things, why should I try to make an effort if others don’t? If it’s not a group effort, there won’t be visible progress anyway. Once I see others trying, then I’ll give it a shot”. I thought about it and come to think of it, she’s right. People are easily influenced by others and once they see someone making a change, then they will do the same. Why should one bother to make a difference if they are just one person and their effort will ultimately go to waste?
    We have to work hard and try to influence everyone to make the same effort, even an activity as small as recycling your wastes. If everyone is equally informed and involved with that one activity, then that one activity will open up a doorway and opportunity for even more efforts.

  18. Subaat Yousaf says:

    As I spoke to different people about what they do or try to do on Earth Day, I received many of the same answers: “I try to save paper,” “I remember to recycle,” and my favorite one was “I sit in the park and watch the scenery.” It wasn’t until I met this one young lady named Sarah, dressed in all black, that I realized how important it is to be more aware of our surroundings. Her answer was completely different than all the others. When I asked her what she did on Earth Day, she looked at me with a dumbfounded look on her face, “What’s Earth Day?” she asked me. I explained to her that it is a worldwide celebrated day dedicated to support environmental protection. “Oh, shouldn’t that be every day?” was her reply. It would be ideal if it was everyday but I find it to be pretty inspiring that the world has set one day apart to focus just on our environment. We continued to discuss the variety of things we could do on Earth day. She brought up the idea that we should go home and dispose of all the harmful and toxic cleaning products we have and I suggested replacing them with the Eco-friendly brands. She continued to tell me of the yearly backyard sale that her mother has where she goes through all of their things and either sells them or donates them; she joked saying that she’ll tell her mother to have the sale on Earth Day now. She talked about how she’s been meaning to change all the lighbulbs in her house to compact fluorescent light bulbs and Earth Day has just given her the push she needed to do it. She explained that she refuses to drive a car to work because she says it’s a waste of resources and plus, it’s always a pain to find parking.
    Another topic that Sarah and I really got into was the food industry. She stated that our current system that led to so much wasted food is absurd. We use harmful pesticides to “save” our food but they are harmful to us and our environment. If we didn’t waste as much food, we wouldn’t need to constantly find harmful ways to produce/save the foods.
    For me, Earth Day isn’t just about the environment; it’s about us taking responsibility for our actions and realizing that whatever we do does have an effect on things and people surrounding us. Sarah wasn’t an environmentalist but she made small changes in her life that prevented further harm to our environment. That’s the point of Earth day; you don’t need to be a “crazy-tree-hugging-hippie-environmentalist” in order to care for the environment. It’s about taking the small steps towards a greater cause – imagine, if all of us make one permanent change starting every Earth day, well, then, there is hope for our Earth.

  19. Estefania Hernandez says:

    During Earth Day, I decided to start a conversation about the importance of this day with my ten-year-old sister. When I asked her what day it was today, she had a bit of trouble responding to the question. She even checked her school planner to see if it stated that it was a special day. I was surprised that her school planner did not mark April 22nd as Earth Day simply because as a school planner it should include every holiday that is celebrated. When I told her that today was Earth Day and asked her what her school did in honor of Earth Day she replied that her school did not even mention that today was Earth Day. I was quite surprised by her response because I believe elementary schools are suppose to educate children on every holiday, especially one that celebrates Earth and Mother Nature.
    She did mention that during her earlier years at elementary school, her teachers would educate her class about the importance of Earth Day. She even mentioned that in order to make learning about Earth Day fun, her teachers would make them color a picture of a world and post their artistic creations outside on the bulletin board. They would even read books about the Earth and would later have discussions on global warming especially on how oil is bad for the earth. Throughout these discussions her teachers would encourage her class to ride bikes or walk instead of using cars, to reuse paper instead of throwing it out in the garbage, and to recycle bottles and paper in order to help the environment. I am glad that teachers start mentioning the importance of Earth Day to children at an early age but I still highly believe that teachers should continue to encourage the importance of Earth Day as a student progresses in their later school years.
    Overall an ongoing custom my parents have encouraged me and my sister to do is to recycle plastic bottles, glass and cans. We believe that not only can this work as a way to earn extra money but it is also a way to save the planet by recycling these products that could be used for other benefits. Other personal approaches that I have taken to keep the Earth pure and clean is to recycle my old cell phone batteries and old ink tones at places like Staples where you even receive a discount for your next purchase in ink tones. I have also learned to recycle my used clothes and donating them to popular store brand companies like H&M and American Eagle. I encourage many to take these simple steps into protecting Earth and honoring Mother Nature on her special day. Small things like these would help benefit the Earth’s environment.

  20. Chaya Teitelbaum says:

    Professor Tomkiewicz had me thinking as I left class and I tried cornering some of my family members to get their opinion on earth day and what they were doing to help the planet…
    I was speaking to my mother and asked her what she does or what she will do in the future to help our earth. She replied that she was in middle of saving earth as we were talking. I was a bit confused as I stared at the foaming dishes in the sink. She proceeded to explain. Many people, she said, turn the water on when they start doing the dishes and turn it off as soon as the last dish is washed. I, she said, first clean and scrub the dishes and put them to the side. Only once I’ve done that do I turn on the water. I rinse the dishes one after the other of the soap and then place them on the dish rack. And without too much effort, I have saved water and played a part as opposed to most people who have the water running the whole time. I then asked her where she learned this and she replied that while visiting her relatives in Israel she noticed this habit of theirs. It’s something that a lot of people there do because they are conscious of the need to conserve water.
    On a similar vein, my husband replied that he too would try to be more conscientious of his water usage. He said that he would try to keep the water off while brushing his teeth and only turn on the faucet at the end, to rinse.
    Speaking to my teenage sister who barely has time to lift her eyes from her phone or computer actually gleaned some insight. She explained that although she is almost enslaved to technology she manages to try and lighten the load on mother earth. How? She said that she tries to unplug her device, whether it is her phone or laptop, the minute it’s completely charged. That way she is not sucking energy for no reason. She continued to say that it’s similar to closing the lights before you leave for the day, no need to waste endless amounts of energy.

    Who knew that such simple things could make such an impact? But every little bit counts and will help our earth. If we all do something small every day, we will eventually see big results…

  21. Duke Nagrampa says:

    Earth Day is the day where we should encourage people to be more environmentally conscious and spread the word around. Just today, I went to my field site to go for my fieldwork with high school students and we were discussing about Earth day and climate change. We had to make a video project regarding about what would happen to the environment if there was a serious climate change effect. They said that they were worried about the polar bears (in which I laughed about) and what would happen to their future selves. Most of them talked about how they were worried about what is actually going happen such as is there going to be another hurricane sandy, will there be more hotter summers and colder winters, and can we do something to help out? I mean these are really good questions that I have little or no knowledge have. I told them simply to do what you can such as recycle, plant trees, always use scrap paper and write on them instead of buying notebooks, and always save electricity. Some wish to do more than just do those.

    Earth Day is just more than being environmentally conscious. It is also of what we else can we learn from it. I know that our food supply (our crops) are being threatened by the change in climate. Since the temperature is getting hotter, the crops are being burned/drying up. Therefore, no crops to grow equals no food to grow. No food equals starvation. Starvation equals increase in hunger and poverty. We must be able to learn more of what we can do and educate other people to do so. Can we do more than just educate and learn and actually do some action?

  22. Vanessa Jolicoeur says:

    Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Earth Day was always big in my life. As a student of P.S.109 Elementary school, we promoted ways to save the earth. In my household, I try to encourage my daughter and husband “in order to save the earth, we must help.” We recycle water bottles instead of throwing it out. My daughter’s school also encourages students to help save the door by having a door competition, which is a unique way of spreading the word and saving the earth. I also try to teach my daughter about regions I have never considered before, like the Arctic, and the rain forests. Since my mother has way too much items that other people may want, I have encouraged her to have a garage sale.
    What is not used for one may be a necessity to another. My mother was not pleased with the idea of selling away all her old items; I am still trying to convince her otherwise. Encouraging people is the problem. Some friends and other family do not notice that this is a beautiful world and it is not fair to take advantage of it. I posted on Facebook as well as instagram (social website) “Go Green! Appreciate the beautiful world we live in” I received 200 likes just for that comment. It would be great is musicians encouraged people to go green since maybe people listen to music , that would have been a wonderful way to get the word out.
    I also plan to invite some friends over and have a movie night. I am not sure what my friend’s intake will be on the movie I have in mind, but I am hoping it will get some of their attention. My Film options are, An Inconvenient Truth, Wall-E, Erin, Food, Inc., Planet Earth, or Quantum of Solace. I am also planning to have a poetry competition with my little cousins. It will be a poem competition, which will be very interesting. It will enlighten the children to express their feelings through nature such as flowers, trees, the wind, etc. Tonight, my kickboxing class and I are going on a nature jog, Pointing out threats to the environment will enlighten others about the wrongs in this world while exercising.
    My older brother is planning a scavenger hunt, but not any ordinary hunt, He is hosting an Earth Day scavenger hunt. Make a list of 20 to 30 things that each team or person must do or find in order to support environmental causes. I encouraged him to add, bike to work, plant a tree, gather rain water or recycle plastic as examples. I am really excited for that.
    Earth day is a annual event to remind people so help shape the earth into a better place. People should be reminded every day. What we do effects the earth in every way and we all should spread the work and encourage others that it is important for people to learn the way we can help this world. Environment protection is important. Now that we have social websites, we can even spread the word online. Don’t throw away cell phones and other technology; give them away to people who will use it. Sprint mobile company, now encourage people to give back a cell phone that is not being used by giving them store credit just for recycling; more cell phone companies should do that. Helping this world we live in is very important it is the future for our children; we should simply spread the world and do our best to GO GREEN!

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