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A Call To Restore Mother Earth Amid A Pandemic: Earth Day 2021

The month of April is packed with environment-related events such as the National Gardening Day (14th), Earth Day which is today (22nd) and the Arbor Day which is on the last day (30th) of the month.

Why do we think these events are so relevant these days and why do we have to celebrate all these? And yes…. why not? Well, we celebrate every major event in our lives each year, and why not for our Mother Earth, right? Let’s do it! Let’s help the environment – there are various ways on how to do it, one of which is to educate ourselves about this place where we live and its surroundings and how can we be of help. Let’s increase awareness on how to actually make Earth Day everyday!

As part of a blogosphere organization, I felt obliged once more to share with you some useful tips and thoughts about the relevance of holding said events, particularly Earth Day (because the other two activities both pertains to making our Mother Earth more sustainable and productive as well) which incidentally marks its 51st anniversary this year.

As a backgrounder, Earth Day was first launched in the 70’s in the U.S. basically calling all the people worldwide to be mindful of the protection and conservation of our planet Earth and its environment. As citizens of this world, it is our responsibility to contribute in the humblest way we can to make our planet Earth clean and healthy! Why is there a need to care about the Earth and its environment? Surely, we have reasons why we have to. One obvious reason is that we have only one Earth which is our home -this is where we live, eat, breathe, raise and enjoy the company with our loved ones. IT MAKES SENSE, right? If kids in the lower/primary and middle schools are now being taught on these issues, how much more for us grown ups! If we care and love this place and for the next generations, we should have the heart to be actively involved even in the little things.

You may say, oh well, there are high profile organizations like the UN, its affiliates and non profit orgs (e.g. Earthday.org, etc.) actively handling these matters. But the UN and other groups can only do so much at their level. I have said this before in this blog and I have to reiterate this again. The initiative should come from us, ordinary citizens, who comprise by the way, the bulk of the populace. As Pope Francis previously mentioned, we are “stewards not masters of the earth”. It is both ethical and moral obligation for us to protect the environment. God gave us a beautiful planet to love and care! We need to build a culture of care and kindness to our ecological system.We have a vital role to play, we are the major stakeholders, we have been made stewards of this, and as such our contributions are deemed important.

Some of us are far from being an avid green activist, but as being part of this world, it would be appropriate to ponder on this and be more cautious in our actions, even if it’s simple, yet helpful and practical, with the end view of saving our planet and its environs.

Just to give you a brief scenario of the impact of the said environmental degradation. Based on UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) yearbook, there are cumulative effects of the degradation of the ecosystems, the overexploitation of natural resources, cost of climate change, and the economic and human loss because of conflicts and disasters. Another effect as espoused in another report is the endangerment of the lives of certain plants and animals mainly due to forest reduction, pollution and hunting activities. As technology improves, the more complex the issues on pollution and harder to resolve. Those of us living in the metropolis can attest to this that pollution has become a problematic area to handle with. We may be aware that there are some industrial companies which may have been guilty in releasing dangerous levels of chemicals, oil, garbage, and sewage into the atmosphere, not to mention littering and landfills. All these keep polluting the land, oceans, rivers and seas and if not eradicated and prevented, we might all end up extinct! As such, it is about time for us to invest our resources and get involved in resolving climate crisis.

The Covid 19 pandemic is still raging the world, and so Mother Earth is truly in crisis. It is suffering not only from this pandemic but it is also being challenged by biodiversity and habitat loss, global heating and toxic pollution. As such, failure to act on this will fail us. Let’s call on the scientists and medical experts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization to formulate policies and facilitate action plans to put an end to this pandemic. This pandemic not only poses as a threat to the health of mankind but it also adds to the enormous environmental problems taking into account the harmful chemical and medical waste from hospitals and laboratories which could adversely affect the health of our ecosystem.

Pope Francis, in his message on Earth Day, stressed on the importance of cooperation among the major groups, both Government, humanitarian organizations and the private sector, and for them to get their acts together in protecting our planet Earth. He stated that there is resiliency when everyone cooperates with one another. The Holy Father emphasized that this action is not to be undertaken later but right now. There is urgency on the call, as such it is time to take action. He further stated by quoting an old adage: “God always forgives, men forgive from time to time, nature no longer forgives.” Pope Francis made an appeal to world leaders to act with courage and justice and to be transparent to their constituents in everything they do specifically on the projects being undertaken relative to the environment that are beneficial for the people, the economy and our Mother Earth.

While we may not have been able to join Earth Day related celebrations today, however, we can make a pledge at least to make our actions environmental-friendly as possible. As mentioned earlier, we may not be considered green activists, but being part of this world, we should have that responsibility to safeguard the environment. We have to love, appreciate and care the wonderful gift that our Creator has given us. And so we have to be mindful of what we do, treat our Mother Earth with dignity and honor in exchange for a better, happy and beautiful living space for us all.

HAPPY EARTH DAY everyone! Thank you for your time!

p.s. Useful tips will come next….