Earth Day offers a reminder to celebrate, protect and appreciate the planet


Geoff Campbell

Although home to more than 6 million people, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex still boasts plenty of nature. Here, an osprey shows off the fish it caught in the Trinity River in Fort Worth.

Ella Scott, Staff Writer

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas— A lifestyle change is not necessary to make a positive environmental impact, Jenna Ennis, an English sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington, said.

Ennis said she doesn’t think many people celebrate Earth Day as a holiday but believes people appreciate the planet in their own ways.

Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement and is often celebrated as a day to give back to the environment, according to

The only holiday dedicated to the single known planet that can sustain human life has occurred every April 22 since 1970.

The date of this holiday was chosen because it is a weekday falling between Spring Break and final exams, to maximize the greatest student participation. So how are students participating?

Ennis said she celebrates the day by enjoying nature. She takes her dog to the park, reads outside, goes on a walk and will sometimes bring along a picnic.

“I love celebrating Earth Day pretty much every day,” Ennis said.

She remembers growing up in the suburbs with not much nature around, but her parents would often take her to a drive-through zoo, where she realized her love for the environment.

Ennis recently started a bucket list with her significant other to visit every national park in the United States. They plan to camp and hike in all 63 of them.

She also wants to participate in a coral-restoration project in Hawaii where she would learn about coral and get to plant a coral reef.

Ennis’ advice to those who want to celebrate Earth Day is to get off electronics and go outside.

She said donating to a beach clean-up or tree planting organization and finding ways to reduce plastic use are small tasks that can make a big difference.

“I think our planet is such a gift to us and we should not take it for granted,” Ennis said.

UTA public health freshman Cassandra Davila said she celebrates Earth Day by doing things that contribute to the environment, like conserving energy or planting a plant.

She said she often tries to appreciate nature by going outside, taking a deep breath of air and soaking up the sun.

Davila said she celebrates the day to honor the planet, while acknowledging the current environmental issues that are harming and endangering it.

She doesn’t know many people that celebrate Earth Day, and she believes this is because some see Earth Day as another day and nothing important.

“I feel like people are so comfortable in living the life they currently live and have come to terms with the fact that our earth is damaged,” Davila said.

She said many people are uneducated on the topic of the environment, and she wants everyone to realize that the planet needs help.

Earth Day should be used as an opportunity for people to learn about the Earth and ways we can preserve it, Davila said.

“Change will not start without acknowledgement,” she said. “Something as special as Earth Day should be celebrated and not pushed aside.”

Some cities and colleges hold events to celebrate Earth Day. This year, Grand Prairie held an Earth Day tree giveaway on April 23 in EpicCentral.

The free three-hour event consisted of nature education, crafts, face painting, animal encounters and tree giveaways.

Jody Cason, Grand Prairie Environmental Quality Manager, said there are many ways to “go green” in your community, at home, in your backyard, at work and on the road.

Some simple environment-friendly tasks include participating in the city’s curbside recycling program, buying groceries from farmer’s markets, learning how to properly fertilize your lawn, printing draft documents on scratch paper, joining carpools and using cruise control when driving.

UTA is incorporating more green spaces on campus to raise student productivity and decrease stress, but it also adds views of nature on campus.

Brazos Hall was torn down in 2018 and is now a green space, Brazos Park.

Lipscomb Hall is undergoing demolition and once it is gone, it will also be a green space.

Small actions by individuals, colleges and communities can make a difference, Davila said.

“It is one day of many to show appreciation towards our environment and the little things that makes our home, home,” she said.