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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout


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Earth Day is More than Just a Holiday

Junior Nora Sharman and other students making an effort to support the environment by volunteering at Lake Bluff Open Lands (Courtesy of Nora Sharman)

On April 22, Earth Day, a holiday to promote the protection of the environment, will be celebrated internationally. Earth Day encourages environmental consciousness. 

“Being conscious of the planet means understanding and acknowledging the impact our actions have on the environment and making choices that minimize our negative impact,” environmental science teacher Mrs. Erika Kuzera said.

What is Earth Day?

Before 1962, the environment was an afterthought, if even that. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was the catalyst for awareness about the state of the environment.

After this initial act, the environment was on people’s minds. In 1969, after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Senator Gaylord Nelson arranged a teach-in on college campuses. He recruited an activist named Denis Hayes who helped scale this idea to a broader audience.

The first-ever Earth Day in 1970 attracted 20 million Americans protesting on the streets to call attention to human-caused environmental issues. This first Earth Day was a massive success.

Aside from gaining national and–within the next decade–international support, Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, a government agency with goals of protecting the Earth. The National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other legislation additionally sprouted from Earth Day. This holiday has invoked many benefits and has the potential to continue with this pattern, but only with adequate support. These benefits can only happen if you start taking Earth Day seriously.

Why is it more important now than ever?

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is Planet Vs. Plastics. is demanding to cut plastics by 60% by 2040, aligning with the goal of choosing the planet over plastic.

The Earth is in a dire state right now. Not only are there currently 400 million tons of plastic waste worldwide, but this number is predicted to rise to 1100 million tons by 2050 without any intervention, according to Columbia Climate School. To say this is grim is an understatement. 

Not only is plastic pollution a devastating problem right now, other environmental devastation are harming the planet as well.

“Air and water pollution, climate change, and deforestation have severe consequences for human health, food security, and economic stability,” Kuzera said.

Earth Day can remind people of the necessity of being conscious of the planet.

“We rely on Earth for our survival and well-being,” Kuzera said. “By being conscious, we can protect our ecosystem services and ensure clean air, water, and soil are available for future generations.”

Unfortunately, an ample amount of these resources for future generations is not a guarantee.

“The reality is conservation is crucial,” Kuzera said. “Earth’s resources, such as water, energy, and forests, are finite. Consciously using and conserving these resources ensures their availability for both present and future generations.”

What can you do?

It’s time to get on board with Earth Day. It’s not only a reminder to be conscious of our actions, but it is also a chance to make a difference.

Kuzera said there are many ways to help the planet during Earth Day such as:

  1. Organize clean-ups in beaches, parks, or neighborhoods
  2. Volunteer at places like Lake Forest or Lake Bluff Open Lands
  3. Reduce, reuse, recycle
  4. Spread awareness in person and on social media

Conservation can’t only matter on Earth Day. Here are some things to do for the rest of the year:

  1. Remember to conserve energy by turning off lights and unplugging electronics 
  2. Reduce water consumption
  3. Choose sustainable products like a reusable water bottle
  4. Advocate for change by writing to representatives or supporting environmental organizations
  5. Educate yourself and others

You should not have the luxury of ignoring the issues with the Earth. The time to act is now, and Earth Day is a great opportunity to start this change.

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About the Contributor
Kallista Schneiderman
Kallista Schneiderman, Staff Writer
New to The Forest Scout, Kallista is a junior who is involved in the theater and music program at LFHS, as well as a few clubs. When not rehearsing for her next show, you can find Kallista watching reality tv, thrifting, and enthusiastically creating secret handshakes. 
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