On Sunday 22nd April 2018, the world observed Earth Day, a global day of environmental awareness, founded in the United States of America in 1970.
At a time where people from all walks of life were using their voices and fighting for freedom and equality from marginalisation and the ravages of the Vietnam war; Industry was chugging along with little to no regard for the environment.
Upon witnessing a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, then Wisconsin US Senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired to raise awareness about the effects of water and air pollution, by suggesting a national day of environmental observation.
As the tumultuous social climate of the time continued in full swing with protest marches left right and centre, Senator Nelsons newly created cause, universal to all of earths inhabitants, attracted the passion and attention of folks from all adversaries.
On 22 April 1970, 20 million Americans put their differences aside to march for this great world we all call home and that same year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed.
Since then, Earth Day has extended right across the planet, with 1990 hailed as the first International Earth Day.
As these occasions approach, it is always a timely reminder to consider the impact that we have on the environment as individuals. The Earth Day website has a consumer calculator whereby you can calculate your personal plastic consumption per year.
I took this quiz, and the results really are alarming. In one year, according to the consumption calculator I personally use a minimum of 3,969 items of throw away convenience plastic. I’m sure we all do it, we purchase a drink, we grab a straw and when we’re finished we “do the right thing” and put them in the bin - and not always the bin with the yellow lid! Think about this, 1 straw a day, adds up to 365 straws a year per person and according to ABC News, 29 January 2018, Australians use on average 10 million straws every day. With 24 million people living in our beautiful country and climbing, this statistic really is cause for major concern.
In summary, we have one home, one planet, one Earth. Observing days like Earth Day is such a wonderful way to keep this very important topic at the forefront of our conversations. I urge you to hop over to the Earth Day website and take the consumption test for yourself. Take this opportunity to make a pledge to reduce the impact we have on the planet by saying no to throw away items and together, let’s treat every day like it’s Earth Day.