Sun Editorial: Earth Day is a success, with many of its goals now part of everyday life

Items made from recycled material, or that can easily be recycled, are prioritized over those that can add trash to landfills.

Earth Day turns almost 50 years old on Monday, April 22. What started out as a relatively small and unique event has developed into a worldwide celebration with a billion or more people and countless events taking place. More importantly, its impact is felt every day, in every city, by almost everyone.

Years, make that decades, ago, Earth Day might have been considered a bit of a novelty. The planet has been here for awhile now, still is here, why are we holding a bunch of celebrations?

Well, those celebrations ended up changing the way we think and live. From all kinds of laws from the federal government on down designed to protect our air and water, for example, to our daily lives, there’s no escaping the fact Earth Day’s goals have had an impact far and wide.

Consider something as basic as recycling. It’s pretty much standard operating procedure these days to separate items such as plastic, paper and metal into their own container. Why do we do this? To protect our environment.

Many people go even further by changing their purchasing habits, for example. Items made from recycled material, or that can easily be recycled, are prioritized over those that can add trash to landfills.

Many communities have large celebrations or events planned to commemorate the day. Also, according to the Earth Day Network, the theme of 2019’s celebration is Protect our Species. The goals range from calling attention to the species threatened by extinction to working to stop the use of pesticides and herbicides.

If you’re looking for something more personal, Earth Day is a great chance to make small changes in your life. Invest in reusable bags for food shopping, for example, thereby cutting back on the use of plastic bags. Make a concerted effort to save electricity. Or even pick up trash in a local park.

Earth Day’s call to action has been largely answered by Americans. The past 49 years have seen great changes. This year, see if there’s a change you can make to make the world a better place.