By Rebecca Dow
On Earth Day last Saturday, hundreds of people arrived at Portland’s very own City Hall Plaza to participate in a march for science. They held up signs showing phrases like “Don’t be a fossil fool” and “I’m with Her” with arrows pointing to a picture of the earth. I had the opportunity to attend, myself, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of community when surrounded by so many people who were speaking up and bringing light to some of our society’s more sensitive topics. It can take a lot for people to come out of their comfort zone and march on the streets on a frigid April day; however, the purpose was there in every soul. Every person there was participating for their own vitally important reason.
As we marched from City Hall Plaza to High Street, passersby filmed or snapped pictures, cars honked their horns in support, and shop workers stood at their windows to witness the event.
Once the group had made its way to the end of its route, we gathered and stood in a crowd to listen as speakers covered a variety of science-related topics. One that truly caught my attention was the speech on pesticide use by journalist Avery Yale Kamila of the Portland Press Herald. She spoke of how most of Canada has banned the use and sale of cosmetic lawn chemicals, with France soon creating its own bans. She spoke about the health impact of pesticides, how Portland is being manipulated by the pesticide industry, and how bees are coming back to areas that have banned pesticides. You can watch the full video at the following link: https://youtu.be/WIFfMCy8AWM. I highly recommend watching the video, for Avery extrapolates well on issues regarding the health and safety concerns many have on the topic of pesticides and their use.
Getting out and attending community events such as the March for Science can not only be an educational experience, but also provide an outlet from which to further participate in activism, volunteering and speaking out against things you don’t agree with.
In a world that is becoming more modernized by the day, we need to create alternate methods and practices for getting the material things we want in life. In the end, all we have is our planet. My dear readers, it is my hope that whatever contribution you may have made for the environment on Earth Day resonates with you well into the year and beyond.