The 46th celebration of Earth Day took place on April 22nd and not only was it a day of celebration, but also a reminder of the on-going environmental issues that occur worldwide. In honor of the worthy celebration, students participated in a parade commencing at the Central Park. Under the theme, “We Only Have One Earth to Share”, the community came together with demonstrating support for the environment and appreciation of Mother Earth. Students shouted “Happy Earth Day” and proudly held posters that reflected positive environmental messages. Many of them represented trees and others were advocating the importance of recycling.
Leading the parade was Oceana’s Ambergris Caye representative, Roxanna Perez Gentle, who explained the background and the meaning of celebrating the cause. Earth Day was founded following a massive-oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara, California USA in 1969. In 1970, Gaylord Nelson established the day for individuals across the world to become aware of the importance of keeping our planet clean and healthy. “This day plays a significant role on how our society perceives the planet and what we can do to prevent adding on to the damage that is has already been done,” said Gentle.
In the past, Oceana, has embarked in several environmental-based campaigns pertaining to Belize. They are also the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, protecting marine ecosystems and endangered species of the country. One of Oceana’s main platform is the opposition of offshore drilling. Off-shore drilling is the extraction of oil/gas and it poses a big risk to the marine system if a possible oil spill where to happen in Belize. “Belize is battling with an oil-crisis and we as Belizeans should stand up for our country by saying no to off-shore drilling and yes to conservation of our natural resources,” said Gentle.
There are many simple ways to help conserve the longevity of Earth and minimize our carbon footprint. Implementing the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) can allow a person to make an impact within the community of San Pedro. By reducing, a person could decrease the amount of trash that is generated, reusing is a method that uses trash in a new way that creates less waste, and recycling is using trash to create new, repurposed items.
Kudos to Oceana for coordinating the event and all participating schools who were in the parade!