It’s difficult to fathom that April 21, 2020 is the 50th year of Earth Day celebrations on our planet. We are always proud to note our one-time Camas resident, Denis Hayes, was one of the original founders of the first Earth Day in 1970.
This year’s theme is Climate Change. Sadly, as Earth Day founder, Hayes, noted in a recent interview, climate change has grown worse in the past 50 years, largely due to greenhouse gases. These gases build up in the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the planet.
The recent stay-at-home orders in most states have helped with temporary easing of pollutants in the air. Residents in many large cities are seeing cleaner air for the first time in years, and for many, for the first time in their lifetime.
It’s too early yet to know if working at home will become a permanent option for many workplaces. Since driving is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide, even just one day a week working from home would be a step toward better air quality.
We appreciate knowing there are other things we can do to help with climate change. In addition to reducing commute times, we can choose to ride a bike, or walk, when we have an option. The eventual goal is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
The old standbys of reducing energy consumption at home and recycling are also helpful. As is, planting vegetable gardens, more trees, and native habitat. In addition, focusing less on buying things, and more on enjoying the free things around us in the natural world.
Yes, it’s Earth Day, 50 years later, and taking care of our planet never goes out of style.
Due to this year’s Pandemic restrictions, you can take part in a digital worldwide Earth Day Live celebration. Closer to home, in Clark County, the City of Vancouver has a number of ideas for us to implement for our own Earth Day activities at home.