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Happy Earth Day, 2020

April 22 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.  This year, tree huggers and concerned citizens around the world will come together, virtually, to commemorate this milestone, celebrate our precious planet and bring awareness to challenges it faces.

As has been typical for 50 years, the Earth has seen some victories and setbacks this past year.

News to celebrate:

  • While no one is celebrating COVID-19, “stay at home” orders related to the global pandemic have resulted in lower carbon emissions, due to decreased demand for oil and air travel. Scientific American reported that emissions were 25% lower than normal for this time of year in China.
  • According to Global Citizen, among the biggest environmental wins of 2019 were the declining costs of installing wind power (down 50% since 2010) and solar energy (down 85%). Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil-fuel energy.
  • The movement to ban and/or reduce consumption of single-use plastic bottles, bags, silverware and straws gained momentum. Simultaneously, tons of single-use plastic items and other materials are being recycled to create climbing ropes, sunglasses, waist-packs and more.
  • The Earth continues to have some very good corporate friends. REI is partnering with TerraCycle and Subaru to help reduce waste to landfills and turn recycled snack wrappers into picnic tables and playground equipment. REI also partners with United by Blue to remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for each purchase of specific products.

Plenty of work to be done:

  • A recent World Meteorological Report confirmed the international community is not on track to meet goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
  • A recent article in Scientific American reports: “The world’s melting ice sheets may have consequences far beyond global sea-level rise.”
  • According to leaders surveyed at this year’s World Economic Forum, environmental threats permeate the list of Top Global Risks.
  • In 2018, China decided to no longer accept the stream of plastic recycling from the U.S. The recycling industry is still struggling to find solutions, according to National Public Radio (NPR).
  • In December 2019, The New York Times reported the Trump Administration has attempted to roll back or undermine 95 environmental policies, some enacted decades ago by fellow Republican administrations.

To support our precious planet this year, we all can:

  • Walk, ride or take public transportation.
  • Learn more about sustainable living and Leave No Trace principles, such as avoiding single-use plastic bottles, bags, silverware and straws.
  • Support companies and nonprofits protecting the environment.
  • VOTE for candidates who will preserve our natural resources, confront climate change and advocate a clean energy future.

Here’s to another 50 years of good news for the Earth!

 

By Laurentine Nicoletto

The Modern Moderate Staff

Born and raised in the Midwest, Laurentine learned to be honest, responsible, hard-working and helpful to neighbors in need. A self-professed tree hugger, she finds inspiration in Earth’s beautiful, wild and pristine places. Politically, she admires hope, justice, fiscal responsibility, and bipartisan efforts by Congress, the White House, and state and local leaders to work together for the good of ALL Americans.

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  1. Happy 50th Earth Day. COVID has been so devastating for so many and the loss of life is catastrophic. Agree, the silver lining is the slow down of activities, consumption, waste and the increase in family time. I try to do my part to reduce, reuse and recycle. Now I use as little paper as possible. Cloth napkins instead of paper towels. Organic Bar soap instead of Soft soap. I hope it has a lasting impact.

  2. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

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