What Will You Pledge This Earth Day?

Pamela Alabaster
Contributing Writer

Earth Day provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the majesty and splendor of nature. Whether experiencing the arrival of spring and its inherent rebirth or patiently awaiting the winter thaw, this is a season for hope and optimism.

Earth Day calls on us to recognize how much we depend on the Earth’s natural capital and eco-system services (i.e. fresh water, clean air, land, marine environment, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, etc.) to sustain our lives. It reminds us of our need to preserve the biodiversity and remarkable beauty nature offers us all. This day is intended to foster appreciation for our environment and awareness of issues that threaten it.

On April 22, 1970, in a rare demonstration of unity, 20 million Americans – conservatives and liberals alike – celebrated the first Earth Day, taking to the streets to promote environmental conservation and respect for life on the planet, as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water, and land pollution. It was a real awakening for many Americans and marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement, which saw the passage of landmark environmental laws that still govern today. These laws include the Clean Air Act, Wilderness Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, and led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Nearly 50 years later, despite decades of environmental progress, the state of our planet should still be of grave concern to all. Now is the time to re-up our commitments to do more to preserve and protect our environment for generations who will follow.

Citizens have an important role to play. It’s in our best interest to be more enlightened and take steps now to ensure the wise use of the Earth’s resources and protect its capacity for self-renewal. So, what can you do? Plenty.

Ten ways in which you can be a better environmental steward:

  1. Walk or cycle instead of driving; carpool or take public transport whenever possible.
  2. Carry reusable water bottles, bags, coffee cups, and take-away containers with you.
  3. Recycle and compost your waste.
  4. Buy energy-saving, compact-fluorescent light bulbs and other energy efficient products.
  5. Spend time in nature. Take a walk, a hike, deepen your connection to the natural world.
  6. Wash your laundry with cold water.
  7. Go meat- or dairy-free at least once a week.
  8. Go paperless; print two sided when you need to print.
  9. Buy local produce.

As we gear up for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary in 2020, let’s pledge to do our part to protect our fragile and beloved planet and honor all that it provides for us. For more information about Earth Day, visit https://www.earthday.org/earthday/countdown-to-2020/.

For more information about the cosmetics and personal care industry’s commitment to a sustainable future, visit https://www.personalcarecouncil.org/science-safety/sustainability/.