Our View: Earth Day encourages us to look forward and invest in our future | Opinion

The annual Earth Day celebration took place Saturday, and as the name suggests, the purpose is to highlight the planet Earth.

This year’s theme, “Invest in our planet,” is about bringing awareness and calling out governments, businesses, organizations and every individual to invest in our future and the future of the planet.

Following the University of Guam’s Conference on Island Sustainability just two weeks ago, educating ourselves and the community, and practicing more sustainable choices, is a way to make investments.

Living sustainably is making conscious decisions about how our actions will contribute to the planet in the future and whether it remains habitable.

Little things such as planting a garden as a source of food, eating locally, picking up trash from the beaches and nature, supporting more long-term and eco-friendly clothing, carpooling, and even choosing to use anything instead of plastic straws, all of these are ways to be sustainable.

And yes, it does help the planet, no matter how small the action is.

But we can’t rely on choosing paper over plastic to suddenly fix climate change. Big businesses and governments have a huge part in the issue.

Governments are able to pass laws and regulations that fight climate change and promote a green community, and we have to invest our time and vote for those who will make a change.

One great investment was the plastic bag ban.

While the ban didn’t eliminate all plastic in our surroundings, it certainly reduced the amount used. The sea turtles will thank us for it.

On Saturday, the Guam Visitors Bureau, in collaboration with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam, organized a beach cleanup at Ypao.

Organizations such as Macy’s and the Hyatt brought their teams to help out. Many residents also came out and dedicated their time to pick up trash.

Scientists have been signaling about how our future would look like. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, by the year 2050, the world population is expected to increase to over nine billion, likely to put pressure on natural resources. Greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to increase by 50%, which contributes to global warming.

But it’s not too late to change that vision. Keep choosing sustainable items, support local farmers, and educate and encourage others to make tiny changes in their routines. Remind ourselves it’s for our own future.

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