Invest Yourself this Earth Day


Jessica Piland

Nature trail entrance across from North Lake Village.

Veronica Amador, Staff Writer

I remember celebrating the Earth in third grade. We would have a themed craft and a video from my teacher. By just recycling, I was changing the world. While you can do that, there is so much more to it than just recycling, which I didn’t learn until much later. 

While attending FGCU, I realized that the first Earth Day was back in the ’70s. There was no EPA, Clean Air, or Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment. Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to bring awareness to this national issue, which worked. 

In December of 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental problems, which is now known as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Every year the global organizer dedicates a theme to each Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day 2023 – is “Invest in Our Planet.” 

Though I still believe we are in restoration mode since Southwest Florida is recovering from Hurricane Ian. There are still ways to invest and help restore our environment simultaneously.

Here’s how to celebrate Earth Day with something other than crafts and recycling videos.

Attending beach clean-ups is a great way to give back to the environment. I particularly enjoy doing beach cleans on Earth Day, and in general, you can clean the beaches by yourself or join an organization like Healthy Earth. They do beach clean-ups and clean up local gardens.  

Especially after Hurricane Ian, our beaches are still recovering. So even if you take just one day to make sure that trash is picked up, it’s still a small step for us to continue to enjoy Southwest Florida’s resources.

Volunteer at your local farms or attend a farmer’s market and support locally grown fruits and vegetables like Inyoni Organic Farm in Collier County. The farm was founded and actively run by Nick Batty. Tucked away in a dirt road in Northern Golden Gate Estates, the farm produces up to 50 varieties of organically grown vegetables and fruit. You can also learn farming techniques so you can then return home and start a garden.

Take advantage of all the Earth Day activities here on campus! Like a campus clean-up hosted by ECOFGCU, FGCU Circle K International and FGCU’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety. They hope to track the data of what they find around campus. They are hoping to prevent litter on campus because FGCU is located on a regional, interconnected watershed system that spills into the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve and joins the Gulf of Mexico.

There are plenty of things one can do, especially since we have a campus that cares greatly for our environment. We should show our pride when it comes to Earth Day, as well as any other day. Earth Day shouldn’t be something we do just one day out of the year, but it should be something that lingers in our minds. We must always take care of our surroundings and take resources like water and food seriously. 

So, invest your time, energy and self into Earth Day this year!