Earth Day 2024

Contributed by Steve Ashkin, The Ashkin Group

Yes, I know it is early, but the professional cleaning industry and almost all industries must start planning their Earth Day 2024 celebrations and activities now. This is a unique opportunity for us to bring together students, parents, businesses, government, churches, and unions to reaffirm our commitment to protecting all living things and the health of our planet.

Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, has become a global event. Beginning in 2003, each Earth Day has had a theme.

The theme for Earth Day 2024 is Planet vs. Plastics.

According to EARTHDAY.ORG, the organization behind Earth Day and the reason Planet vs. Plastics was selected this year is:

• To inform the public about the harmful effects of plastic on human, animal, and ecosystem health.

• Encourage research about the impact of plastic waste on human health and the planet.

• Phase out single-use plastics by 2030; single-use plastics are typically used once and discarded.

• Promote a 60 percent reduction in the use of all plastic by 2040.

• Ban plastic in "fast fashion." This refers to inexpensive clothing made with large amounts of plastic, usually worn just a few times.

Kathleen Rogers, president of EARTHDAY.ORG, adds that plastics are everywhere.

“In fact, we have become the product itself. It flows in our bloodstream, adheres to our internal organs, and carries with it heavy metals known to cause cancer and disease. Once considered an amazing and useful product, plastic has become something else, and our health and that of all other living creatures hang in the balance.”

Added concerns about plastic are the following:

·      Plastic decomposes slowly, so it accumulates in the environment.

·      In waterways, it can entangle and suffocate marine animals, threatening their survival.

·      It emits greenhouse gasses while decomposing, contributing to climate change.

I am urging the entire cleaning industry to join me and start planning for Earth Day sooner this year. This way, there is no last-minute rushing before the big day.

I am so proud of the professional cleaning industry. Over the years, it has taken bold steps to reduce its use of plastic and become much more sustainability focused. Earth Day is a good time to tell everyone about it.