I remember the last line of my undergraduate project thesis; of course, my project thesis was on ‘Environmental Law’. It goes thus: ‘If we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves’.
Simply put, if we restore the earth, we are restoring ourselves. Every year, the 22nd of April is set aside to celebrate ‘Earth day’ across the world.
Its main aim is to raise awareness about critical issues that the world is facing and pledge support to environmental protection.
According to earthday.org, Earth day aims to build the largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet. Indeed, Earth day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world.
Wow! Undoubtedly, beyond all differences, the Earth is what we all have in common. This year’s Earth day, with the theme; ‘Restore our Earth’, is the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day, after the first Earth day was observed in 1970.
The historic Paris Agreement, which is a necessary environmental protection treaty was signed on year 2016’s Earth Day. Earth day acknowledges our collective responsibility in promoting harmony with nature and the earth to achieve a balanced earth, which will meet our needs and that of future generations.
Basically, as humans, we need earth’s resources to live. Despite the clamor for adaptation and mitigation, these will not be enough to tackle environmental problems and their consequences.
This is why this year’s Earth Day is to show that we can restore our ecosystem through natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking.
The United Nations has rightly declared 2021-2030 as the ‘United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’. What can we do to restore the earth?
As simple as closing the tap when not in use, or turning off the lights, these small actions which you might not see as a big deal, can make huge differences.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; the 3 main Rs of environmental sustainability is a good way to go. All over the world, there is a growing neutrality of environmental policies which need to change and put the Earth first.
You can also restore the Earth by donating to conservation initiatives, raising awareness about the need for environmental restoration, buying energy efficient appliances such as low watt bulbs, switching to alternative renewable energy sources such as solar energy, disposing refuse appropriately: because every litter counts, getting creative with upcycling, eating less processed foods and going organic, planting a tree before and after you cut one down, reducing car emissions through car pooling and other sustainable means of transportation, and spending time with nature.
Emerging green or sustainable technologies, such as green roofs, sustainable energy generation technologies, electric vehicles, green computing, molten salt storage, biofuels, green architecture, green walls, plastic roads, plant based packaging and sustainable phones, are good ways for slowing down global warming, reducing green house effects and restoring our earth.
Undoubtedly, we all have our part to play in restoring the earth because we live in it. We all have the power to bring about changes. Let’s celebrate this day by doing our bits for the earth. We have only on earth.
We all need a healthy earth, which isn’t an option, but a necessity. Real earth day starts when we all begin to make conscious efforts to restoring our earth and making it a safer place.
Humans allegedly contribute the most percentage to degradation; I have no doubt that humans can also contribute the greatest to Earth Restoration. Make serving the earth your first priority.
Ananwureyi Ohine Joy is a Bachelor of Laws graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University. She is a lover of the environment and loves celebrating International days. She can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.