Earth Day Should Be a Federal Holiday

Earth+Day+Should+Be+a+Federal+Holiday

Photo by Photo Boards on Unsplash

Sara Lehman, Staff Writer

Earth Day is an annual worldwide celebration held on April 22 that recognizes the inherent value of our planet and advocates for the protection of its natural resources by all citizens. Currently, Earth Day is not considered a federal holiday, but this must change because it is necessary for all inhabitants of our country to connect with and respect the many diverse environments found on our home planet.

As novelist Wendell Berry asserts, “the Earth is what we all have in common.” It is the one thing that transcends cultural differences and relates to every human—so why is it not our top priority? This question inspired the creation of Earth Day in 1970 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Across the globe, people spend this day promoting environmental-friendly legislation, demonstrating support for the protection of nature, and engaging in landscape preservation. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of this event, and the theme is climate action, according to earthday.org.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as focused on safeguarding the planet as the EPA. This is why it is imperative to establish a date whose goal is to promote the assistance of our natural world. One example of a significant act that can be taken on Earth Day is planting trees. The average tree absorbs 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year according to the European Environmental Agency, and if 328 million US citizens planted one tree, 15.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide would be eliminated annually.

As of now, the federal government recognizes 10 national holidays. On these days, government offices are closed and federal employees are paid to have the day off. Local and school entities are often also closed on these days. Earth Day should be added to this list so that people are given time to take a break from their daily lives and interact with their natural surroundings. In addition to the benefits that our planet would receive from an established holiday, citizens will also reap rewards. According to Business Insider, studies have shown that spending time outdoors can improve short-term memory, reduce stress, decrease inflammation, eliminate fatigue, fight depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve focus, increase creativity, and even prevent cancer. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The 50th anniversary of #EarthDay is just 10 days away! ⏳ 🗓 💪 And on April 22, this global environmental movement is going digital to demand bold action for people and planet . . Join us online for #EarthDay2020 as we seize all the tools and actions we have, big and small, to change our lives and change our world — not for one day, but forever📱🌍 📣 . . We’re bringing 24 hours of action for our planet, from citizen science to committing to vote. Because everyone can do something, and everyone can do more . Because you may be distanced, but you’re never alone . Because Earth Day is every day. And now, it’s anywhere you are 📍🌏 . . Get ready to bring your hope, your optimism, and your action to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as we make it a day unlike any other. Are you in? Learn how Earth Day is going digital, and join us on April 22. Link in bio.

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Many students at Miramonte already understand the significance of protecting our planet. AP Environmental Science is a popular class, and a multitude of school clubs such as the Environment Club, Mats in Nature, and Its Newt a Problem are devoted to spreading the word about how to save our world and its robust species.“I feel Earth Day should be considered a national holiday because we should celebrate all that earth has done for us and use it as a time to give back. Honestly, we should be doing that everyday,” Miramonte Environmental Hikers club leader Apameh Berloui said.

“It is super important to teach students and the general population about valuing and protecting the Earth. I believe it is each person’s duty to learn how their actions impact the Earth so they can make the changes necessary to protect it as well as appreciate it for everything it gives us,” Environment Club member Claire Draeger said.

Earth has sustained humans for thousands of years and in countless ways, and deserves to be preserved because of this. The US government should establish Earth Day as a federal holiday so that people have an opportunity to help on both a legislative and physical level. It’s time for everyone to branch out and leaf the world better than they found it!