Happy Earth Day! Earth Day falls on April 22nd of every year and is always a great opportunity to not only appreciate the beautiful natural world around us but ask ourselves, ‘What can I do for the planet today?’. Obviously, kind deeds for the environment don’t have to be confined to one day, but it’s a good opportunity to organize a clean-up with your friends, bike instead of drive to work, or even just go on a hike to appreciate the great outdoors.
The tradition of Earth Day began in 1970. The first Earth Day was sparked by environmental concerns, a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969, and before that, Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, released in 1962. The movement began on college campuses to teach about the environment. April 22nd was chosen as the day because it fell between Spring Break and Finals and would ensure the greatest number of students attending. In 1990 Earth Day became a global movement with a campaign organized by Denis Hayes. Now, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, marked by over a billion people every year as a day of action and change for the future.
COVID-19 & The Environment
The pandemic has affected the environment in positive and negative ways. According to a study done on the environmental effects of COVID-19, the pandemic brought a sudden drop in greenhouse gases. Compared to September 2019, air pollution in New York decreased by 50%. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the pandemic has increased amounts of waste. The same study states that “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, medical waste generation is increased globally, which is a major threat to public health and environment.”
What We’re Doing
Medcom Benefit Solutions has a lot of projects in store for this year to reduce our carbon footprint. We plan on having multiple community cleanups for our employees to take part in. We also want to make sure we’re supporting other local businesses that have made a commitment to sustainability. However, probably the most important thing we’ll do this year is taking the time to assess our exact measured carbon footprint so that we can work each year to reduce it. To get better, you need to know where you’re starting.
Celebrate Earth Day however you can, whether it’s doing something for the planet or just getting outside. Our environment is a precious and finite resource that deserves at least a full day of admiration. We can’t always do everything possible to reduce our impact on the environment, but just know that every effort, no matter how small, matters. Happy Earth Day, everyone!