Earth Day 2023 emphasizes the importance of sustainable living


Alysse Dodge

Dedicated volunteers participate in beach cleanups on Earth Day.

Alysse Dodge, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As we go about our daily lives, it can be easy to take our planet for granted. Every year on April 22, the world unites to celebrate Earth Day, a day internationally dedicated to raising awareness about environmental concerns and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970, serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect our one and only home.

The official theme of World Earth Day 2023 is “Invest in Our Planet,” a continuation of last year’s successful campaign, encouraging businesses to create zero-waste lifestyles.

There are several volunteer opportunities in San Diego County not only today but continuously.

The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and enjoying the world’s beaches, waves, and oceans. The community fights for plastic reduction, ocean protection, beach access, clean water, and all issues that threaten the beaches and natural shorelines. It is easy to become a volunteer or donate to help the organization get closer to its goal of protecting 100% of our coasts. Surfrider volunteer opportunities include beach cleanups and attending program meetings. Learn more and register on

I Love a Clean San Diego is another nonprofit organization on a mission to keep San Diego County waste-free, providing environmental education, volunteer cleanup and beautification programs, and recycling and zero waste solutions. These volunteer opportunities are available constantly, including on Earth Day. Registration for events can be found on

Although these are great opportunities to help save the planet, some prefer to make a difference at home by creating zero-waste habits and lifestyles.

Taking shorter showers is one simple way to conserve water. Every gallon of water negatively contributes to the pollution and depletion of water tables, the underground boundary between the unsaturated zone and the saturated zone. Plus, excessive energy is needed for transmission and heating, which increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Several coffee shops in San Diego County allow you to bring in your own mug from home, in an attempt to reduce the use of disposable cups. SHAKA Coffee, located near San Diego Mesa College, is one local coffee shop that accepts reusable mugs.

Similarly, bringing reusable bags to grocery stores reduces plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is the reason for the 10-cent bag fee at California grocery stores.

Other ways to save the planet include recycling, planting a tree, using long-lasting light bulbs, and driving less.

Simple daily changes make a huge difference.

The progress and innovations in environment conservation and sustainability are largely celebrated on April 22. Success stories, such as renewable energy, are shared and inspire others to take action.

Make a positive change to your lifestyle today. By working together and taking immediate action, current and future generations will live on a protected, healthy planet. There is no Planet B. Happy Earth Day!