Celebrate Earth Day – VeriConnect’s Two Cents

Category : Yosef Dvores

April 22nd marks the 54th Earth Day, a day to celebrate the beautiful planet we live on and nurture advocacy for ways to protect the natural environment.

In the 54 years since the first Earth Day in 1970, the world has taken huge strides to protect the environment. Amongst many others, some examples include:

  • Banning DDT after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is thought to be a catalyst of the environmental movement, making public the undeniable link between pollution and human and environmental well-being. 
  • Recycling has become the norm in many countries.
  • The world came together to fix the hole in the ozone layer.
  • Toxic lead is taken out of leaded gas.
  • Conservation and protection of habitats has become more common.
  • Climate Change was acknowledged and then the Paris Agreement went into effect.
  • New generations of activism are taking a stand.
  • In Ireland specifically, we have environmental roadmaps such as the National Climate Action Plan and the National Biodiversity Action Plan.

“In nearly every aspect, human beings have altered the environment to benefit one single species and disregard the estimated 8.7million other species on the planet. “

While there is a lot to celebrate, with decades of hard work done by environmentalists around the globe, there is also a lot left to do! Humans have continued to expand into once natural areas which leaves less room for all the other living things we share our planet with. Furthermore, pollution from this continuous expansion deteriorates the environment that is left behind. 

Earth Day demands that we acknowledge our impact on this planet. Our species has undeniably changed the face of this planet and all that live on it. In nearly every aspect, human beings have altered the environment to benefit one single species and disregard the estimated 8.7million other species on the planet. These two facts say almost all that needs to be said about humans impact on the planet:

  • Livestock makeup 62% of the world’s mammal biomass, humans account for 34%. All the wild mammals on the earth only account for 4%!
  • Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture, meaning virtually half of the planet is used to feed humans.

Not to mention the climate change that we have caused, which will lead to the biggest impact of all unless we change our ways…. With no time to spare. 

This year’s Earth Day theme is Planet VS Plastic  which is unwavering in its commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040.

Plastic production is currently at 380 million tons per year. In the previous decade, more plastic has been produced than in the entire 20th century with industry plans to grow explosively for the indefinite future. 

In 2023, More than 500 billion plastic bags (one million bags per minute!) were produced worldwide. A lot of these bags are used for maybe a few minutes (maybe thrown out instantly), and then pollute the environment for hundreds of years. Furthermore, they remain as microplastics in every niche of life on the planet.

Fast Fashion is an enormous part of plastic pollution, by producing over 100 billion garments a year. 70% of articles are made from crude oil, which pollutes the environment with microfibers. Nearly 85% of fast fashion ends up in landfills or incinerators, with only 1% being recycled.  

Plastic pollution is known to have blighted virtually all of the environment at this stage, including our own hearts, livers and bowels. It is a long time coming, but today is the day we can stand together and work towards a world with less plastic pollution.

In the 54 years since the 1st Earth Day, we have seen enormous progress for the environment, most of which would have been completely unheard of. We need to keep the momentum going! Try these simple but effective ways to minimize plastic waste:

Do not forget to get your Social Media Toolkit by earthday.org!