Earth Day: where is our environment and what are we doing about it?


Olivia Buckel, Senior Editor-in-Chief

Starting in April of 1970, Earth Day began to be celebrated in the United States as a way to bring the issues of regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment to the attention of the United States government. Since then, our world has continued to pump out more and more carbon emissions and pollution. While our world continues to be struggling to protect our environment, there have been major strides forward across the globe to help our planet bounce back. Our world is currently a split between the two.

According to, in our world today, there have been about 6.7 million global deaths from all sources of air pollution. There are about 5.3 trillion estimated quantities of plastic in major marine areas, as well as open dumping being the most common method of municipal solid waste disposal worldwide. The increase in global pesticide consumption since 1990 is about 57%, and the main driver of global tree cover loss is, unsurprisingly, forestry. For water pollution in general, the main type of litter found in open waters is synthetic rope. Because of this almost 100 million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone. 100,000 marine animals die from getting entangled in plastic yearly, and that is only the creatures people can find. Unfortunately, despite all of these statistics being right at our fingertips, air quality and pollution in general in the western United States has grown much worse in the past decade. This is owed largely to wildfires that are getting bigger and more frequent with the warming climate.

While these statistics show a very negative outlook on the progress of our world, the truth is that, while pollution itself has continued to get worse, the awareness and advocation for it has grown exponentially. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, between the time that Earth Day started in 1970 and 2020, advocacy for environmental causes has increased just as much as pollution has, and economic indicators have remained strong throughout the advocacy. For example, more and more companies are popping up that benefit our economy while taking care of our planet. An example of this is 4ocean, which sells bracelets at acceptable prices, and for each bracelet that is sold, a pound of waste is cleared from our oceans. According to their own website, 4ocean has recovered over 25 million pounds of trash across the globe. Because of their contribution, more and more companies like them pop up every day, including Fahlo, Waterlust, Stream2Sea, and Blue Adaptation.

Because of this increase in advocacy, laws have come into place across the planet to help our environment. According to, following a law passed in 2019 that banned single use plastics in Mexico City, plastic waste has reduced exponentially in that area. Environment911 also highlights that more and more businesses and organizations are starting to ban together and bring awareness. With gardening and planting efforts popping up more and more in 2021, an estimated 100,000 monarch butterflies were seen in 2021, smashing their spot on the endangered species list. We also have salvation armies becoming more and more prevalent, thus diverting over a million pounds of clothing out of the landfill each year. Also in 2021, France became the first country in the world to begin offering the owners of old, carbon-heavy cars the option to trade their vehicles for a grant to buy an electric bike. Because of this project, the country is aiming to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent in 2030.  The United States is catching on, so much so that an environmental rights amendment passed in New York City. This will help citizens fight back when the environment is under attack and encourages the government to consider human and environmental health when making decisions.

Overall, our world is at an interesting split of more pollution than ever, but also more advocacy. This is a good sign because, even through small acts of kindness to our planet, we can tip the scale and treat our world the way it needs us to. We only have one planet, one home, we have no other choice but to protect it.

For more information how you can help fight pollution in your own city, visit