By Laura Weyman, Photo Editor
Plastic is a versatile and inexpensive material, making it one of the most widely used. Surely, we have all seen the aftermath of celebrations as big as St. Patrick’s Day or Orange Crush.
Days like these give us a glimpse of the global plastic consumption epidemic scientists relentlessly speak of. The scale of this problem is often difficult for us to truly comprehend, since we can’t accurately visualize the amount of plastic that is collectively used and not recycled.
A study conducted by a scientific working group at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) states that, every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. In 2025, the input of plastic waste is expected to double.
As a result, thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it. This plastic pollution epidemic is not only harmful to wildlife, but it also harms humans. As plastic debris floats in the water, it absorbs cancer causing and endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as PCB, DDT, and PAH.
Earth Day is a yearly and educational celebration that was started in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator. It was inspired by the massive Santa-Barbara oil spill of 1969. In his eyes, environmental conservation was extremely important, because without it there was no economy.
On the 25th anniversary of Earth Day he stated, “The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.”
This year, Earth Day is focusing primarily on plastic pollution. The official day always takes place on April 22nd , though Savannah is celebrating one day early this year.
On April 21st, Savannah residents, business, musicians and artists will gather in Forsyth park to celebrate the earth and discuss the importance of environmentalism.
This Earth Day celebration is the largest educational Earth Day event in the state of Georgia and is entirely free of charge.
Attendees will have the chance to enjoy craft beer, food and live music. You may bring your own picnic lunch or buy something from our most popular local vegan restaurant’s stand, The Fox and Fig. In addition, the weekly Saturday Farmers market will be simultaneously present during the festivities.
Catch live performance by local musicians. Matthew Jadaiv will start his set at 11:00am, Josephine Johnson at 11:45am , Keystone Postcards at 1:00pm, Laiken Love and the Fellowship of Love at 2:15pm, and Ember City at 3:30pm.
This year, The Revival Society is teaming up with SCSC to build an interactive sculpture made entirely of recycled water bottles, and E-waste recycling will be provided by Junkluggers of the Coast Empire. They will offer citizens of Savannah the opportunity to dispose of home electronics, such as including computers, televisions, monitors, printers, fax machines, small household appliances and cell phones FREE of charge.
Hope to see you there!