Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Consistency is key for Earth Day initiatives

Julia Fusco

The annual celebration of Earth Day is a concept that has been around for many years as a way to encourage communities to live green and practice keeping our planet healthy. This commemorative choice, meant to encourage others to pursue change, is not doing enough to change the world for the better.

Many neighborhoods and towns in the Boston area, like Newton, conducted clean-up events or promoted local businesses that are environmentally friendly. Certain local companies, like Buffalo Exchange, hosted events encouraging people to shop sustainably with a $1 used-clothing sale.

These initiatives mean well, as the popularity of these events indicate that many individuals sought out these occasions in order to join in on the push for making a difference on Earth Day. But they leave the planet needing more from the community. Engagement on Earth Day is a temporary solution to this growing problem of unsustainable shopping and littering the natural areas of Boston.

These events are targeted to local issues. Larger-scale issues require more thoughtful and consistent change from the companies that perpetuate these harmful business practices.

Larger companies seem to treat this holiday as a promotional tactic to bring attention to their environmentally friendly practices rather than reduce their unclean ones. Companies like Starbucks promote their reusable cups while also promoting overconsumption with their rapid overturn of their merchandise. Fast fashion brand SHEIN made initiatives to partner with clothing donation group New Circles, yet continues to churn out thousands of unsustainable clothing products nearly every day.

These companies want all of the fame and support that comes with eco-friendly branding, without the actual changes that would push them forward in the fight for a better and cleaner future.

Larger companies are the true perpetrators of these extremely dangerous and harmful business practices. Without change from companies operating multi-million dollar machines, this issue will continue to spiral beyond our control. That is not to say that individuals are not responsible for their own choices and decisions. The larger companies’ choices do not absolve the average person of accountability.

Where people’s earnings go makes a difference. The concept of voting with dollars applies to the large-scale issue of climate change. Us as individuals are responsible for thinking critically about how and where our material good’s come from. If we take up this responsibility, a consistent change can be made.

Those who participate in river and forest cleanups should not make it an annual event, but a consistent one. If you shop sustainably on Earth Day, you can do it every day. Earth Day initiatives should be kept in the back of communities’ and individual’s heads while they go through the motions of everyday life.

The concept of Earth Day has been misconstrued as an initiative for marketing rather than a true inspiration for a better livelihood in our communities. What we are doing now is a fantastic step forward in comparison to the habits of the past, but there’s still more to be done.

According to a press release made by the United Nations, irreversible climate change is just over 10 years away. The prediction is marked by the increasing number of greenhouse gasses and other risks to our planet perpetuated by humans. There is time to make a change if everyone extends the environmentally conscious concept beyond Earth Day and holds companies accountable for their practices.

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About the Contributors
Julia Capraro, Editor-at-Large | she/her
Julia is a sophomore broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the Journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.
Julia Fusco, Graphics Editor | she/her
Julia is a senior from South Hamilton, Mass. majoring in media & film at Suffolk University. Julia is part of four student organizations and counting and is on the E-Board for three of them. When she isn't working at the Suffolk gym or in class, you can often find her taking time to engage in her hobbies, which includes photoshoots with her friends, graphic designing, dancing and grabbing some boba to go!

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Consistency is key for Earth Day initiatives