Earth Day 2018: Can We Put an End to Plastic Pollution?

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Today we’re celebrating the 48th Earth Day, so put on a recyclable party hat and join the crowd! This year’s theme is plastic pollution. The event happens all over the world and so far, it focused on water pollution, fuel emissions, global warming, sustainable living and now plastic pollution.

Now, in the 2018 event, Earth Day focuses on a campaign called ‘End Plastic Pollution’. Its main focus is to inform everyone on the planet: citizens and governments on fossil fuel-based single-use plastic and its danger to the planet. We must all find alternatives that are environment-friendly and sustainable.

Everyone can be part of this initiative, even though you’re not out partying. You can learn how to recycle and how to lower your carbon footprint.

The First Earth Day Event

Back in 1970, Americans celebrated the first Earth Day. that’s when scientists, academics and students started to talk about pollution and its effects on the environment.

A US Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, was inspired by issues like Vietnam War and the resistance against it, and by the oil spill that took place in 1969 in Santa Barbara, California, both with disastrous consequences. He gathered a few politicians and academics that were concerned about the pollution issues and chose 22 April as the date for the movement.

The publicized the event and since then, every year, the movement grew and decades after, it became a global event. They were raising awareness on the effects of oil spills, factories, power plants, raw sewage, pesticides, freeways, all causing extinction of wildlife.

Later, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was born, passing many environmental acts.

Earth Day Matters

Global warming is a fact and the climate continues to change. We’re 2 degrees Celsius far from dangerous levels of warmth. After these two degrees, we’ll see a rapid rise in the levels of the sea, coral reefs will die off, ecosystems will be destroyed and our crops will also suffer.

In 23 years we will go over the 2 degrees Celsius limit with these current carbon emissions.

Each year 300 million tons of plastic are sold and a lot of it gets thrown away, ending either in landfills or in our oceans.

How Can We Help?

The first step, even if it sounds just a little one, is to lower plastic consumption. There are many ways you can do that, from ditching plastic bags in favor of canvas bags, stop using plastic cutlery or getting glass bottles instead of plastic ones.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere