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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Student Voice: Everyday should be Earth Day 

WHY WE SHOULD CELEBRATE OUR PLANT ALL 365 DAYS OF THE YEAR

On Wednesday, April 22, we, the people of earth, celebrated the 45th annual Earth Day. All around the world people of all ages, races, genders and nationalities celebrated our planet in a multitude of ways. Students on Wofford’s campus celebrated by basking in the glorious sunshine in various spots around campus, playing volleyball, basketball, tennis and even riding the bicycles around campus. It seemed as though Mother Earth was showing off her beauty and glory that Wednesday with the greenery appearing a little more vibrant, the clouds a little more fluffy, and the sky a little more strikingly blue. As I was riding around campus marveling at the beauty of this manicured section of nature, a thought struck me: why does Earth Day exist? Shouldn’t every day be Earth Day?

As I thought about it more and more I realized that Earth Day, though a beautiful concept, is rather silly. Earth Day has evolved from what started as a day for discussion of environmental problems on April 22, 1970, to a day that the earth is celebrated, its problems protested and discussed, and its beauty enjoyed. On this day we recognize and thank this beautiful living planet we call home for its beauty, resources and services, we discuss the issues our planet is facing, we make an extra effort to go out- side or pick up trash on the sidewalk or we watch a short YouTube film on why we should protect this planet. All of these activities are wonderful and important but why should they be limited to just one day? The earth doesn’t stop providing for us just because it is not Earth Day, but why is it that we treat it like it does? It seems as though when it is not Earth Day most of us make no conscious effort to appreciate and protect the earth and instead we continue to exploit its resources and abuse and pollute its natural services and systems.

To me, this does not seem fair. Mother Earth never stops giving and we never stop taking, yet we only thank her one-day out of the year. The earth provides for us every single day, no matter what, so we should value it as such. If we treated the earth like every day was Earth Day, what a beautiful thing that would be. Imagine, a world where every day we celebrate the earth’s beauty and appreciate what it provides for us and we make a conscious effort to protect, conserve, and respect it. I’m not suggesting anything radical, I’m merely suggesting that if we each make a conscious effort to treat every day like it’s Earth Day, then the world would be a much healthier place. Even the simplest of actions can provide positive results: If you see a piece of trash on the sidewalk, take the extra thirty seconds to put it in its proper reciprocal. If you and your friend both have to go to the grocery store, make an effort to carpool. Recycle those empty beer cans from the weekend. Bring your own bag to the grocery store instead of using plastic bags. Turn off the television when it is not being watched. Inform yourself properly on environmental issues and make an effort to become involved in conserving and protecting this planet. Our parents teach us that in relationships we should be grateful, have respect, and to give not just receive; our relationship with the earth should be no different. Treating every day like it is Earth Day starts first, with a consciousness of our place on this planet and our relationship to it. After all, as Wendell Berry so poignantly said, “the earth is what we all have in common.”

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— Sara Frances Koontz

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