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Earth Day

Earth Day

Earth is a beautiful place that still needs our help to maintain it for future generations to come.

“It’s a good day to go celebrate the earth,” Brittany Vargas, Tracy High senior, explained. 

Earth Day began April 22, 1970 and was originally started by Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson, who was worried about the environment and chose to act after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. His work was effective with approximately 20 million people who attended the inaugural events. These events occurred at tens of thousands of sites, such as elementary and secondary schools, as well as universities and community sites throughout the United States.   

Later that year, in July 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency, otherwise known as EPA was established due to the rising public demand for cleaner water, air and land, after Earth Day was promoted by Senator Nelson encouraging students to help fight against environmental causes and to oppose environmental degradation. Along with strong motivations to promote environmental change, others decided to expose companies that dumped chemicals into rivers and pumped black smoke into the air. Today, individuals continue to fight for stronger environmental change. 

“If there’s trash on the ground, I try to clean it up myself,” Vargas continued. “I realize there’s a lot of trash on the streets. I’d love to help clean the streets in the near future. I see people throw stuff out of their car when they could easily just get out of their car and throw stuff away. It can be frustrating.” 

During the twenty-first century, the EPA announced its new requirements for improving air quality in wilderness areas, mainly national parks. The EPA created regulations that require more than 90 percent cleaner, heavy-duty highway diesel engines and fuel.  

It is very important that we take care of our Earth, seeing that it is degrading more and more each year evidenced by the 15 billion trees cut down each year when only 1.15 billion are planted in return which isn’t nearly enough to repair that kind of damage to the planet, when in a five-year span over 75 billion trees are cut down.  

“We don’t want to trash our earth,” senior Francesca Rodriguez said. “If our environment is bad, it makes our life much more difficult. We can clean up after ourselves. We need to make sure everything is going where it needs to. We need to be responsible for our actions. ”

Although trees are a huge factor of deteriorating the Earth, trash is just as much of a problem, if not more, with the 2.01 billion tons of waste that remains on our planet. An ideal, modern solution is to be more creative with recycling and trash.

Companies and individuals can recycle trash, reforming it into being usable products once again. Along with the concept of recycling it has increased from seven percent in 1960 to 32 percent currently, which although is progress, there is still a lot more to go. Some argue recycling isn’t enough, however.

Students at Tracy High School have the opportunity to continue to learn about the environment in Environmental Systems and Societies, a class taught by Sara Foote at Tracy High School. According to Kaitlyn Terry, a junior member of the class, the class focuses on pollution, climate change, recycling and other environmental impacts.

“We only have one Earth,” Terry said. “I try to recycle.   I think it’s important to implement change. If we don’t, things will only get worse over time.” 

Another grueling factor impacting Earth is electricity.

While a large amount of electricity stems from fossil fuel, some have created electricity with renewable sources. Popular alternatives are wind, water and sun.

Wind is used to produce energy by the way of propelling the wings of windmills. Solar panels absorb sun light, converting the sunlight into electricity. Water, at hydropower plants, flows through a pipe, pushing against blades that spin to power a generator to produce energy.  

Earth day is celebrated by millions around the globe and you can easily participate, even if it means picking up one piece of trash or simply turning off the light when you leave a room. Any of these actions are steps to ensure that we are taking care of our ecosystems and helping Earth’s future.  

For many Tracy High students, it’s a day to remember the beauty around them and recommit to helping due their part.


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About the Contributor
Kaylee Arnaz
Kaylee Arnaz, Reporter
Kaylee Arnaz is a 17-year-old senior at Tracy High School. She has gone to Tracy High School for all four years and is excited about college options. She lives with her family of four, including her little brother who is a freshman at Tracy High School, and she has eight animals who she loves endlessly. In her free time, she often enjoys hanging out with her animals, graphic designing, and cooking. She has over 2,000 edits of both pictures and videos and cooks a variety of foods daily. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and doing all sorts of things. Arnaz is currently taking online college courses to prepare for her college career. She is very adventurous and loves to go camping and prefers the outdoors. But her favorite thing of all is spending time with her family, whether it's cooking, watching television or playing board games.  

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