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Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics

Ella Nicolle
As spring begins, the hills surrounding Ventura turn green and flowers bloom. Earth Day reminds us to appreciate the beauty of nature in our everyday lives.

Every April, people of all kinds come together to celebrate Earth Day, the largest secular observance in the world. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 20, 1970, marking the birth of the modern environmentalist movement. In the following decade, America saw some of its most powerful environmental legislation come to fruition, including the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in December 1970 and the Clean Water Act of 1972. 

Each year, Earth Day has a specific theme that is pertinent to a current environmental issue., the global organizer of Earth Day, has announced that the 2024 theme will be “Planet vs. Plastics” to promote their ultimate demand for a 60% reduction in global plastic production by 2040.

After the recent rains, the hills of Ventura Calif. have exploded with vibrant flowers just in time for Earth Day. The bright, beautiful blooms have left their colorful marks on the hills adding to the already unique Ventura landscapes. (Rihanna Samples)

With the support of citizens, non-profit organizations, governments and more, has multiple initiatives to help build a plastic free future. The first is raising awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on humans, animals and the environment. Another goal is to phase out single-use plastics by 2030, which would become a worldwide commitment through the United Nation Treaty on Plastic Pollution in 2024. With this comes a call to regulate the raging fast fashion industry, which produces massive amounts of plastic waste, and prioritize investment in innovative technologies to lessen global plastic reliance. 

Over 200 million people in approximately 141 countries participate in Earth Day events, and this year in Ventura, Calif., there were many opportunities to join the billions in celebrating this monumental holiday. 

The annual Ventura Earth Day event was held on Saturday April 20, 2024 at Plaza Park from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. In addition to food, refreshments and live music, there were local non-profit booths where attendees could learn about and support local environmental conservation efforts.

Speckling the hills, especially around the Ventura Botanical Gardens and other hiking trails, common hillside daisies and crown daisies are some of the many wildflowers that bloom during the Spring season. (Rihanna Samples)

If you weren’t able to attend any events last weekend, there are still upcoming opportunities to get involved. On Saturday April 27, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) are hosting an Earth Day fundraiser where community members can make a $35 donation to pick out an assortment of small tomato, zucchini, squash, basil and pepper plants. The event will be held in two locations: Growing Works Nursery in Camarillo, Calif. and SEEAG’s headquarters in Ventura Harbor. Homegrown produce is an excellent way to enjoy delicious food and lessen your dependence on resource intensive commercial agriculture. 

Although Earth Day is specially dedicated to environmentalism, it is important to practice sustainable habits year round, especially in the face of climate change. Simple dietary and lifestyle adjustments can make a bigger difference than you may think, and getting involved with local non-profits or sharing knowledge with those around you is key to ensuring a bright future for planet Earth. 

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About the Contributors
Beatrice Barnes
Beatrice Barnes, Writer
Your average vegetarian who loves the outdoors and runs for fun.
Rihanna Samples
Rihanna Samples, Multimedia Editor
A junior who is constantly looking at the world through the lens of a camera.
Ella Nicolle
Ella Nicolle, Multimedia Editor
Photo editor who’s a classic car enthusiast with hippie tendencies.

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