Earth Day encourages supporting the environment

By Carolyn Freeman

It may have been in the thirties when you woke up this morning, but that’s no reason not to celebrate! Today marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day – a day created to help mobilize worldwide environmental action.

This past weekend was filled with activities such as a sustainable design expo on the National Mall (in place of the annual Earth Day concert), various cleanups along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and celebrations at the National Zoo and Aquarium.

The Earth Day Network, which was established in 1970 in conjunction with the first Day, is an organization that works with partners and organizations around the globe to help further launch the environmental movement and help plan Earth Day festivities. Though Earth Day is only one day of the year, the Earth Day Network works year-round to rally people together.

“All over the world, more than a billion people across 192 countries do something for Earth Day every year,” Earth Day Network’s communications director Bryan Buchanan said in a phone interview. “People are doing everything from cleaning up trash on the beach, to starting recycling drives in their communities, to having rallies and protests. All of those little things add up to something big and add up to big dividends toward helping the environment.”

Each year, The Earth Day Network creates a different theme for the year. This year’s theme is “Face of Climate Change”. The Earth Day Network has gathered photographs of people, animals and places directly affected by climate change, and of people stepping up to help put an end to climate change.

Stores are also joining in on the cause. South Moon Under, a clothing store that was started in Ocean City, is holding an Earth Day sale. On purchases of $125 or more, customers receive 20% off from their purchase.

South Moon Under matches the sale amount with a donation to an organization aimed at helping the environment. These customers are then able to vote online to select an environmental charity for south Moon to make a matching donation to. The sale ends Tuesday April 23, and SMU will donate all of the money to the charity with the most votes.

In addition to the sale, South Moon under has been encouraging environmental activism through social media websites such as Instagram, and through the implementation of changes to its power sources.

The Earth Day Network has also asked that people around the globe send in their photos that tell their personal stories dealing with climate change.

“The climate change movement has stalled for a while and not much has been happening politically, meanwhile problems are getting worse,” Buchanan said. “We know that climate change is having a real tangible impact on lives and is affecting a bunch of people and places and animals that we love. We thought that the face of climate change would personalize this massive problem and bring it down an individual and personal level.”