Magazine Opinions Volume 70, Issue 8

Earth Day: 2021

Are We Doing Enough?

Written by Katharine Chi 

It is now 2021, and the ongoing pursuit of zero carbon emissions seems plausible. During the year of 2020, Earth was able to heal and recover. NASA states, “The Earth’s atmosphere has seen significant reductions in some air pollutants.” However, this was due to the COVID-19 pandemic that put society on pause. 2021 is the year to make changes and keep promises. At the Paris meeting in 2015, a surprising number of nations agreed to make drastic changes in order to control the global temperature increase, but the promise was not upheld and we are way off track from the original plan. There are many factors to consider when approaching the issue of high carbon emissions and global warming, but in 2021, the health of the planet should be the center of all issues. Earth should no longer be a second thought. This is not like a New Year’s resolution; this is a battle to have another year. 

We are comforted by businesses marketing how eco and waste-friendly their products are, but it begs the question: Am I doing enough and do I truly care? In modern society, a great majority of the population has an indirect relationship when it comes to receiving domestic items. We can order food and clothes through any technological device without having to grow each single ingredient and material ourselves. We don’t get the up close and personal experience of seeing where we get our belongings and how they come to be. Because of that indirect, detached relationship, many humans do not grasp the gravity behind global warming and the full extent of the issue.

This year, Earth Day is on April 22. Reflect on your mindset on environmental issues. The world has started to change for the better as renewable energy sources become cheaper and electric car industries rise in popularity and value. But we must get rid of the mindset of waiting for others to make change. Everyone’s individual actions and mindset has an effect on the environment and though you may not feel the gravity of your actions, it makes all the difference. Start with small changes in your life and then start adapting to a mindset that considers consequential waste and the amount of resources used to provide aspects of daily life. Don’t be a bystander, and live everyday like it’s Earth Day.