Acknowledging Earth Day

By Karym Murphy, Horizon8

Today, April 22nd, is a day that deserves all of our acknowledgement: Earth Day. The goal of Earth day is to increase awareness of the pressing environmental issues that face our planet, while drawing attention to the practical actions we can take to address these issues as individuals. I am personally a passionate advocate for environmental awareness and sustainable responsibility, and now is a more crucial time than ever to play our part. These are challenging times for all of us: many are living in trying circumstances, losing friends or family, facing lay-offs or experiencing the effects of long-term social distancing and isolation, while adjusting to a new normal. I am proud of the way in which we as a society are dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, by coming together to stay apart. I strongly believe that how we have dealt with this crisis can act as a catalyst for a whole-of-society approach towards tackling climate change.

While Covid-19 and climate change are entirely different issues, they both have a huge impact on the human race. It can be easy to get swept up in the negatives, now is a time to stay as positive as possible: look at what we can achieve when we put our minds together! Companies and individuals are undergoing immense change but are coming up with creative ways to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and its repercussions: clothing companies are making protective masks, distilleries and breweries are making hand sanitizer, restaurants are preparing food for medical workers on the frontline and tech companies are jumping in to speed up testing. Our heightened consciousness is bringing us under the common goal of helping each other and stopping the spread of this virus, and one thing that is clear is that with a common goal in mind, we can all come together to do what is right.

Climate change is an existential threat, and it will change the way we live far more drastically than even the coronavirus if we don’t act now to make a difference. It is evident that there are plenty of things we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint: from recycling and taking public transport instead of driving, to changing our diets and farming responsibly. We already know what we can do as individuals and communities – what we need is a rapidly heightened global consciousness to see this threat as what it is and to work together in doing all that we can to protect our planet. We need people to take action and make a real commitment to doing their part.

In the current environment, it is difficult to focus on any situation other than the one that we currently face. However, this pandemic is bringing out the best of humanity. It has shown us what we can achieve when we work together as one civilization to better our world for each other. I have immense gratitude for those working on the frontlines, and I think their spirit should show us all that what we need to handle any crisis, be it coronavirus or climate change, is courage and kindness. On this 50th anniversary of Earth day, I say to all of you: be kind to Mother Earth, do your part and help make this a priority around the globe and she will reward us all in the years to come!

Happy Earth Day.

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