Last Saturday, April 22 was Earth Day. For environmentalists and activists, the pressure and excitement around Earth Day can be equally overwhelming and rewarding; here two BAYCS Co-Chairs, one graduating and one incoming share their personal thoughts on Earth Day.
Incoming Co-Chair, Finn Does
Earth Day always evokes a pool of uncomfortable feelings for me, especially as a youth activist. April 22 feels like a glimpse into the cultural & environmental awareness needed, a 24 hours where humanity takes a step in the right direction, appreciating all that we stand on, yet I can’t help acknowledging just how performative & greenwashed this day is. Working year-round to accelerate climate justice, it is incredibly invalidating to have my work & that of my community shoved into the Instagram stories of one day, reducing our action & intersectionality to one narrative of environmentalism.
With these feelings, I am hesitant to simply sit back alongside the earth day campaigns & hypocrisy of corporate America and just “celebrate the earth” when we know they will continue to fail us in every way possible. So I say, let's center hope, resilience, and celebration while actually mobilizing people to dismantle a system engineered by colonization. Everyone has a place in climate justice; that is why we must shift the conversation beyond a single day, a single news report of disaster, a single story of “sustainability & net-zero.” As youth we carry the power of imagination, light, & spark—and when we come together we can demand the change we want to see. Happy Earth Day!
Graduating Co-Chair, Natalie Heller
Earth Day to me is a day to come together to celebrate and advocate for people and the planet, but also to remember why I care about the work that I do.
While we celebrate the earth, we have to remember that it is simultaneously burning up and melting at a record speed. We are celebrating it while also marching for it. We are fighting to change the future to make it livable and equitable. This all doesn’t just stop after April 22nd ends; it continues for the rest of the 364 days because the earth needs it. It needs youth to fight for it if the older generations won’t. Because if we stop then the earth will continue to break records but not in a good way.
Everyone has a place in climate action, you just have to find the way to advocate for the earth that works for you.
So today, but also tomorrow and the next and all the days following think of ways you can insert yourselves into climate action, it could be as simple as picking up the piece of trash you see laying around or showing up to a protest, find what works for you.