No matter what our political ideologies and affiliations, we all should take a serious interest in our environment. Although there are specific methods of ameliorating the environment and sustaining it that are controversial, there are fundamental and practical ways to improve and sustain it that we all can agree on. Each year, Earth Day offers us an opportunity to unite to enhance and maintain our environment. The purpose of this article is to speak about the significant potential in Earth Day and to provide phenomena we all can engage in to ameliorate and sustain our environment.
I have always been tremendously disappointed about how little attention Earth Day receives. Earth Day should be everyday! We to have a more complex understanding of Earth Day as a signal of how much more value we should place on the environment in our daily lives. The need to have an “Earth Day” should help us to recognize that we are not doing enough to ameliorate the environment, and be good stewards of the environment. The “going green” movement is simply not enough to achieve good stewardship and improvement of our environment. While there is much discourse taking place across the nation about environmental sustainability, there has not been a significant improvement in actually moving toward a more sustainable environment.
Although we have not done all that we can do to move toward a more sustainable environment, we can begin to by adopting a more common sense approach. We can have monthly times of solidarity where we (on a national level) participate in picking up trash in our communities and find items to recycle. Local communities can hold meetings to establish tree planting projects. Using various forms of communication, discourses about how to live more environmentally sustainable personal lives and within our communites can emerge. Establishing a national discourse at the local community level about environmental sustainability is a critical way of enhancing the significance of Earth Day. These aforementioned recommendations would not involve much stress for individuals throughout the nation, but the implementation of these recommendations would dramatically buttress our environment, and will help us to move toward a more environomentally sustainable future.
No longer can we sit back and mock “tree huggers” and no longer can we simply be “tree huggers.” We have to work colloboratively to find consensus on how we can protect, perserve, and restore our environment. I encourage everyone to participate in Earth Day today and to make Earth Day an everyday reality!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison