The celebration of Mother Earth

Before our modern Earth Day, cultures around the world have, for centuries, acknowledged Mother Nature as an incredible life force. Many celebrated and praised the planet’s life and saw it as divine–calling it Mother Earth, Gaia, Geb, or the green man. Different solstices were celebrated too, which marked the Earth’s changing seasons.

“The importance of Earth Day is to make sure everyone is aware of the dangerous issues happening to our planet everyday,” said Josey Lindsey, a student at Marshfield High School.

 Whether one believes that the Earth is its own being or a spinning globe, every culture should celebrate it for the life it gives. She shares with the world beautiful flowers and trees, blue waters, towering mountains inhabited. But unfortunately, many cultural traditions have been lost over time, resulting in an entire generation that forgot how wonderful planet Earth is. 

American’s were producing insane amounts of air pollution, typically with their cars. Large industries contributed as well as they churned out black smoke and sludge. Before the 1970s, it was even legal to dump toxic waste in streams. 

That is until, of course, Earth Day, a national holiday created by Gaylord Nelson was jump-started on April 22, 1970. Thousands of people saw the damage being done and banded together to protest and develop environmental leaders. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency has advocated for the cause by producing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and many others.

The city of Bandon, Ore. organizes something extra special for Earth Day–a beach clean up. In teaching citizens to dispose of sharp and dangerous pieces of plastic on the beach, a safer environment is created for everyone. 

 “I think Earth Day has helped,” said MHS student Chacha McLane. “ It’s another way to shift attention on the planet and our surroundings.”

It’s important to note that while Earth Day has had a positive impact over all, it’s not enough. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, nearly 14 million tons of plastic keeps making its way into oceans each year. Approximately 80% of all marine debris is plastic, on both deep sea and surface levels. All in all, Earth Day shouldn’t be something to celebrate just once a year. A healthy and thriving planet should be something the citizens of Earth are working towards constantly. 

“I think that it is not only necessary to celebrate the Earth but also take action to protect our planet, because we are apart of it” says Abby Oberg, from Rogue Climate. “Every year the Food Co-op here in Coos Bay celebrates Earth Day, and creates an environment to meet like-minded individuals.”

Recycling is a great help, but there is more one can do. Remember to keep in mind that the little things add up, so plant more trees and flowers. Save the bees. Don’t settle for just living life without advocating for change, and help the future generations.