by Adeline Bellesheim, Lloyd Center Educator/Naturalist

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April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Earth Day, and the staff at Lloyd Center for the Environment are joining in the celebration with the City of New Bedford. In 1970, a group of Environmental Activists teamed together to give a voice to our planet that was being affected by oil spills, massive amounts of air pollution, pesticides, and much more. Today, the uphill battle continues, but there has been many success stories since the creation of Earth Day.

Each year, millions of citizens gather to bring awareness to the environmental injustices that are happening on a daily basis. Earthday.org states that “Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and provoke policy changes.” 2020 will be a year filled with elections and record high winter temperatures, and our actions are more important than ever!

The Lloyd Center for the Environment has joined forces with many other local organizations to help put together the largest celebration of Earth Day in our area. This celebration will take place at Pier 3 in the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The event will include climate speakers, music, art pieces made from recycled materials, and much more. Participants will then proceed to march for 2,020 steps through New Bedford, with the hopes of gaining awareness and inspiring individuals to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Although it may feel like small changes on a personal level do not make a difference, if every single person pledges to use less, recycle more, and be conscientious of our planet, the impacts will be felt globally. Simple, every day choices that are easy to make can truly help the health of our ecosystems. An easy earth-friendly action is reducing your water usage by taking shorter showers, turning off running water when it is not needed, and performing routine maintenance of septic tanks and laundry machines. Similar steps can be taken in terms of electrical and gas usage.

There are many more changes that individuals can make that won’t break the bank. Bringing your own re-usable bags to the grocery store, and using hand towels instead of paper towels are easy changes for you and your family. Setting up a compost bin will greatly reduce the amount of waste in your household, and can also save you money on garbage bags – plus, free soil for gardening! Many people around the world have begun to take steps to a healthier planet. Let’s all join in these changes, and celebrate our beautiful Earth!