Commentary

Three perspectives on Earth Day 2020

Earth Month and Earth Day celebrations are important for the well-being of future generations

Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash
Participating Allies

Daily News Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental stewardship. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards.

Art Currier – ACES

I remember the first Earth Day celebrations in 1970 – March 21 and on April 22. The later was actually a “teach in” and gained significant visibility and momentum.

Environmental activist Sen. Gaylord Nelson wanted the world to become more aware of the multitude of environmental challenges we faced. Each of us now has the opportunity to help the well-being of our future generations by being proactive in honoring a very relevant axiom: “Think globally, work locally, act personally.”

The following are the perspectives of three very passionate ACES interns who are fostering environmental stewardship every day for the benefit of all.

Alyssa Keith – NHS senior

Most people agree that systemic change in the sustainability of our lives is needed for environmental progress. In a society that celebrates technology and the ease of putting eggs into plastic bags, it’s easy to forget that everyday routines will forever be burdening the Earth.

I’m proud Newburyport has taken the step to ban plastic bags along with adopting a plethora of other sustainable practices. While this holds true for my community, we need to ensure that others follow our lead. With April being Earth Month, we can keep encouraging members of our communities and others on a global scale to do the same.

In the past, Earth Day typically has been celebrated over social media by people emptying their camera rolls of aesthetically pleasing landscapes like the beach or vibrant sunset. I think that Earth Month provides a longer period of time for people who would grow by engaging with the environment – participating in actionable activities like beach cleanups.

By making this event more than one day, new relationships will be fostered among people and our planet. My hope is that we can foster more individuals continuing to support and devote time to a cleaner Earth. We want that future generations become intrinsically motivated to help our Earth.

Refraining from plastic or cutting down on red meats can become normalized. I see Earth Month as the New Year’s resolutions for climate activists. It’s the perfect opportunity to kick off a lifelong pursuit to eat less red meat, ride your bike instead of driving to work if possible, and hopefully progress into a more sustainable lifestyle.

Cami Loignon — NHS senior

When I’m reminded of the saying “April showers bring May flowers,” I tend to think about the type of impact Earth Day makes on our lives, kind of like the rumble of a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are usually brief, but they are loud and leave behind significant changes to our environment.

Similarly, Earth Day brings about a platform where our voices can be amplified on why we want to protect the health of our planet, resonating with the world. A large, collective team can be heard over one individual. In fact, Earth Day emerged in the 1970s, protesting against pollution from spilling oil, polluting the water and spewing smoke into the air.

Following the adrenaline and intensity of social movements in the ‘60s, people began to fight for environmental policy. Early on, people noticed the negative impacts of the industrial revolution and they were angry. Sound familiar?

Greta Thunberg has led millions of people to strike for environmental change. However, the oil industry continues to monopolize the global economy, overriding many environmental policies. Earth Day inspires us to continue to fight – it gives us a voice. If we’re loud enough, perhaps we can pave a road to help the generations to come.

Eleni Protopapas — NHS senior

I believe Earth Month and Earth Day celebrations are important for the well-being of future generations because it exposes them to environmental issues at a young age. I remember in elementary school, Earth Day would be celebrated by the teachers reading children’s books to my classmates, followed by brief assemblies explaining how and what to recycle.

Even minute events like these educated my peers and me on environmental values that were seldom being taught elsewhere. As a senior, I am now able to see growth in our community by witnessing a new generation of students become more educated on how to care for the environment.

I am always thrilled to see elementary-aged children educating their parents by recycling their plastic bottles and picking up litter. By continuing this part of elementary education throughout Earth Month, future generations will be increasingly mindful of pollution, eventually promoting the well-being of our society.


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about the author
Arthur Currier

As the Principal of Currier & Associates, Art guides individuals and organizations to have clarity about their PURPOSE and the actions needed to be aligned. Concerned about the well-being of youth and future generations, he is leading ACES to fulfill its purpose and goals to foster stewardship and motivate positive actions for our environment.


about the authors
Alyssa Keith

A senior at Newburyport High School in Newburyport, MA, Alyssa has attended Newburyport schools since grade 1. She is Vice President of her school’s Environmental Club and very active with GOMI (Gulf of Maine Institute). In July 2019, she became an intern for ACES allowing her become intimately involved in a variety of projects and activities related to the growth of the organization.


Eleni Protopapas

Eleni is a senior at Newburyport High School and planning to study Veterinary Sciences in the fall. Her devotion to animals has led her to a strong passion for environmental advocacy. As of November 2019, Eleni has been involved in public awareness and youth leadership initiatives as an intern at ACES.