Earth Day needs to be every day


Photo by the contest winner, Katherine Li

Winning poster of the 2023 Earth Day Poster Contest

Every year you are reminded it’s Earth Day when you see the “Happy Earth Day” Instagram posts of breathtaking views. But instead of being used as an excuse for people to post pictures of a sunset, Earth Day needs to be used to remind people to take care of our planet and how to do so, so that we can continue to cherish it.

According to, since 1880, the Earth’s temperature has risen about two degrees Fahrenheit, sea levels have risen about nine inches and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at its highest since the last ice age. All of these changes, some irreversible, are an impact of climate change and are becoming more significant as time goes by.

While it has become too late to reverse some of the effects of climate change, it is never too late to keep them from worsening. On the other hand, if we don’t change the way we are living, the future is predicted for us. Ice caps will melt, temperatures will reach unbearable numbers and sea levels will rise and overtake land.

Although recognition of Earth Day is important, people need to start thinking about how to help our planet on an everyday basis. This can scale from simply throwing out trash on the street and helping to clean up one’s community, to changing your daily lifestyle. Small things like driving less and using less energy (like turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging chargers) could have a huge impact if everyone is involved. And, surprisingly, your diet is one of the most important ways you can contribute to the environment.

AP Environmental Science Teacher Judith McLoughlin explains that changing your diet is already being more green three times a day. “We want to choose locally-sourced food, whether it’s vegetables or meat,” explained McLoughlin.

Meat plays a large role in harming our environment. McLoughlin explains that the public must be more aware of the livestock industry’s impact on the climate, and AP Environmental students have a unit dedicated to diet and the effects of the beef industry.

While WHS offers classes to educate students about the environment, further action must be taken. Earth Day seems to be recognized by WHS by having a poster contest honoring the day, but there were no real efforts to get our WHS community involved in real change.

In elementary school, Earth Day was celebrated through numerous activities learning about how we can save the planet. But as we get older, Earth Day seems to have lost its relevance, and now is when the Earth needs us the most. If we put as much effort into saving our planet as we do into editing our Earth Day posts, we can make a huge difference.