It’s Still Earth Day
The world on April 22 observed Earth Day,an annual event meant to inspire awareness and appreciation for our planet’senvironment. But this yearly reminder has come under fire from some environmentalists,who say the excessive promotion of a “one-day revolution” amounts to nothing butempty symbolism.
Critics have created a new word,“slacktivism,” that describes taking feel-good measures in support of a socialcause. The word, a mix of “slacker” and “activism”, is used to label activitiesthat have little practical effect, such as signing Internet petitions andtaking part in short-term boycotts.
Earth Day has been a positive force in thestruggle to educate. However, we must not fall into a “slacktivist” mindset.Instead of turning off the lights for 30 minutes once a year, what is needed isa shift in thinking that views saving electricity with an almost religiousfervor.
Every day, each of us faces small choicesthat will ultimately make the difference between a grim or bright future. Thecumulative acts of billions of people, such as stopping the use of disposable goodsand starting to use energy-efficient light bulbs, can add up to real change.
Symbolic measures and awareness campaignscan be helpful, but without a radical change in attitudes, real progress willremain stunted.