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Sustainability Column: Earth Day and Plant Party

Graphic by Trinidee Mercado

Earth is our home. Every day we breathe her air, drink her water, and eat her food. While we should put our planet first every day, there is one day when we can all celebrate Earth together. Earth Day has been celebrated every April 22 since 1970. 

Following a rise in environmental consciousness in an extremely consumerist society, the modern environmental movement united under Earth Day to fight against various threats to the environment. By 1990, Earth Day went global and emphasized recycling programs. In the past few decades, the movement engaged over one billion people to change their habits and implement policies to combat climate change.

This year’s global theme is “Invest In Our Planet” which engages people, governments, institutions, and businesses to “transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy.” The theme is decided upon annually by EARTHDAY.ORG, formally Earth Day Network. There are six campaigns you can follow on Earth Day and throughout the year to help everyone transition towards a green economy.

With climate literacy, teaching others about climate and environmental issues, coupled with environmental science builds the foundation we need for a green consumer market, impactful advocacy, and meaningful dialogue with the government. End plastic pollution by opting for reusable bags, utensils, and other items while cleaning up plastic around you or at a cleanup event even if it’s not yours. To reduce the effects of climate change, regenerate wildlife habitat, and purify our air and water, plant trees or donate to tree planting organizations. 

Rollins Sustainability recently promoted sustainable fashion with Swap N Shop, but you can continue to avoid the environmental and social costs of fast fashion by purchasing high quality clothing made from natural or recycled fabrics or by shopping at second hand stores. Voting for Earth during elections and communicating with your representatives about climate and environmental action is crucial for change on a larger scale. Finally, join a cleanup event this weekend or throughout the year. 

This Earth Day cleanups are happening near Rollins, including a cleanup at Wekiva Island on April 21 and a Keep Orlando Beautiful cleanup the following weekend on April 29 at Loch Haven Park. Keep Winter Park Beautiful also organizes watershed cleanups throughout the year.

Celebrate Earth Day with the Sustainability Program on Friday, April 21 from 12:30 to 2pm with our first Plant Party. We want to show our love for Earth by recognizing the importance of plants by featuring plant-based food and products, sustainable agriculture from vendors, and ornamental and potted houseplants. Also stop by our tie dye and plant potting stations. There are plenty of events happening this weekend as well with the Central Florida Earth Day Festival at Lake Eola all day on April 22 and the City of Winter Park Earth Day 5k and Block Party happening that morning at Ward Park.

With so many ways to celebrate our planet, check out the Earth Day Action Toolkit. What will you do differently this year to give back to Earth?

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