Today marks the 51st celebration of Earth Day, an international event celebrated by a billion people from over 190 countries all over the world, to provide a voice for the Earth, to raise awareness, and highlight environmental concerns impacting everyone on the planet.
Here in the CNMI, Earth Day is celebrated through the annual islandwide cleanup where volunteers—groups or individuals—gather together and adopt an area to clean up.
Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the CNMI celebration was limited, but with residents still taking the time to pick up trash around the island. Others also regarded the pandemic as a chance for the environment to breathe, given that there were less people on island.
This year, as if to make up, the islandwide cleanup, organized by the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, will be to be held on two days—April 23, Friday, from 3pm to 4:30pm, and on Saturday, from 8am to 10am.
But for those who want to celebrate today, two events are on—the Earth Day Roadside Waving, organized by Miss Northern Marianas Earth Maria Lael Terlaje, and the Earth Day cleanup at Smiling Cove, organized by the American Memorial Park.
Terlaje is inviting everyone to create posters or signs to help raise environmental awareness, and to bring them to Oleai on Beach Road for a roadside waving. Participants are also asked to wear blue or green, in support of Earth Day. Registration opens at 4:30pm and the waving begins at 5pm.
“Let’s continue to find ways to share an impactful message as we…recognize how humans impact our natural environment,” Terlaje said in a social media message. “…Signs and posters are a way to bring more attention to environmental issues and to prompt action to prevent more environmental problems. Join me this Earth Day take on an environmental strike, especially for the CNMI’s land and sea.”
For those who want to do a cleanup at the American Memorial Park instead, meet up for volunteers start at 4:30pm at the Marina Parking Lot. For a volunteer form or for more information, contact Shannon Sasamoto at email@example.com.
Bayani Association president Anname Adaza, who will be volunteering with members of the United Filipino Organization, said that Earth Day should encourage us to help the planet be a better place to live.
“Let us do our part, protect our environment, be mindful of our trash, dispose of it properly and get involved in any cleanup activities. That way we were able to give back to our Mother Earth.”