Earth Day 2020– Reflecting on 50 Years

By: Collingswood Commissioner and Green Team Liaison Joan Leonard

If there is one thing we know for sure in our new world of the pandemic, it is that we are all interconnected. We rely on each other and affect each other throughout the world, now more than ever. 

We have learned to rise to the occasion, to adapt to change, and to maintain hope for a brighter tomorrow as we focus on the health and safety of each other. Today, Earth Day 2020 is a reflection of what seems like a quick 50 years since the first Earth Day. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day also coincides with the timing of Arbor Day this Friday. The two celebrations go hand in hand in many ways; plant a tree, clean the air! The lofty goals of both Earth Day and Arbor Day have persisted through the decades.

The need to educate ourselves and our community about how we as a nation can heal and protect our planet was so important in 1970 and these goals are even more urgent today. Earth Day was started in the USA by a senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson and within 20 years the movement spread to 141 countries expanding each passing decade to today where one billion people celebrate in over 190 countries. 

As people throughout our world now strive to fight back against COVID-19, we must remain vigilant in gaining health, safety, and protection of our people and also our planet. It is important to reflect on the interdependence of our health and wellness on our natural resources such as water and wildlife. We need each other to live; we need to protect our earth to live. We deserve a clean and healthy environment and to give that life to our children and generations to come.  

The time is now for each of us to do everything we can, each in our own way, to be the change we want to see. Let’s all stay safe, stay well, stick together, and also enjoy the beauty and glory of springtime- full of color, rebirth, and hope. We can help each other and help the earth as each of us works to reduce air pollution, reduce waste, and promote sustainable practices in our daily lives. 

Together we strive for a healthy planet and a healthy future.

Watch our Arbor Day video here!