PODCASTEnvironmentally Speaking EP 78: Celebration of Earth Day

May 4, 20230

Transcript: Celebration of Earth Day

CLARICE:  Good morning, everybody.  And welcome to this week’s episode of Environmentally Speaking.MARISA:  Hi, everyone.  I’m Marisa Desautel, an environmental attorney.  And for the record, it is 12:07, no longer morning.

CLARICE:  You still have coffee.  It can be morning.

MARISA:  Oh, okay.  Fine.  Listen.  And this is our second take today because we started recording and then I couldn’t get on my office chair, so that was —

CLARICE:  We’re off to a great start, folks.

MARISA:  Yeah. Anyway.

CLARICE:  Hi, everybody.  I’m Clarice and I’m here asking you not what oil can do for your hair but what your hair can do for oil.

MARISA:  That was a good episode.

CLARICE:  Thank you.  That was gross.  Yeah.  Every time I clean the drain or clean my brushes I’m like, do I save this, no.

MARISA:  Nope.

CLARICE:  Still a little too creepy.

MARISA:  What are we talking about today?

CLARICE:  We’re going to talk about something a little lighter.  So as you folks may know, for us we’re recording on the 24th.  This past Saturday April 22nd was Earth Day.


CLARICE:  So we wanted to do a little recap and talk about what Earth Day looks like across the globe, so I thought it would be fun to — to focus on different countries, different celebrations and see what that was all about.

MARISA:  I’m going to throw in a few references to what happened locally on the island, Aquidneck Island and surrounding towns because some of those events seemed like quite a bit of fun.  But why don’t you just in with what’s happening around the globe.

CLARICE:  Yeah.  So I have a list of the top biggest celebrations around the globe and some of the countries I was surprised by.  Some of them I wasn’t necessarily surprised by.  Can you guess what country has the biggest celebration?

MARISA:  Canada.

CLARICE:  Oh, Canada’s up there.  Canada definitely makes the top list for sure.

MARISA:  Okay.

CLARICE:  But it’s Japan.

MARISA:  You know what’s funny, I almost said Japan but as a joke.


MARISA:  It wasn’t serious.  Japan?


MARISA:  What?  Why?

CLARICE:  Yeah.  Tokyo usually does a two-day celebration.

MARISA:  Oh, that’s awesome.

CLARICE:  Typically — and, folks, forgive me if I’m saying this wrong.  Yoyogi Park typically sees about 100,000 visitors.

MARISA:  What is it?

CLARICE:  From what I’ve gathered and, you know, accepting that Google Translate can be a little rough, it seems to be a two-day long convention focused on education and teaching folks what things that they can do and change in their home to encourage sustainability.  So there’s larger global speakings and then there’s like take-home lessons and then there’s family-based activities, so it’s really meant to be kind of like an Earth Day fair plus classes —

[0:03:16] MARISA:  Wow.

CLARICE:  — for two days.  Yeah.

MARISA:  Okay.   So Japan coming in at number one.

CLARICE:  At number one.

MARISA:  Surprising.

CLARICE:  Yeah.  There were definitely some surprising ones on this list.  So Canada made the list.  I was shocked that United States made the list.

MARISA:  What number are we in?

CLARICE:  I was a little bothered.  Japan was listed as number one, but then after that nobody else was listed.

MARISA:  What do you mean?

CLARICE:  Like it said Japan had — from all the articles I could see it said Japan —

MARISA:  Oh, Japan is awesome.

CLARICE:  — is notably the biggest.

MARISA:  And then everyone else.

CLARICE:  Here are other top ones.

MARISA:  Okay.  All right.  Anything notable in the U.S. going on?

CLARICE:  A lot of rallies teach-ins.  I thought this was interesting.  In D.C. scientists and civic organizers provide training sessions.


CLARICE:  Essentially similar to the Japanese model.

MARISA:  Okay.

CLARICE:  Apparently it’s about sustainability.  But I didn’t know that there were in D.C. scientists putting together these events and doing that work, so I was kind of bummed that there’s not more news coverage of that.

MARISA:  Yeah.  Well, I can tell you locally the most, I think, entertaining or interesting event that I saw was hosted by the Tiverton Historical Cemeteries Commission.

CLARICE:  Tell me more.

MARISA:  They invited folks to come out on Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 and clean up the Stone Church Cemetery in Tiverton.  You had to bring your own gloves and your own cutting tools, but apparently there was a bit of a — I think it looks like a not only Earth Day cleanup but a bit of a restoration type event at this particular cemetery.  I didn’t know that there was a Historical Cemeteries Commission.  That’s a thing.  And Tiverton is a pretty rural town.


MARISA:  It was interesting to me that that’s what the — it looks like that was the most popular event to pop up on Patch.com for Earth Day.

CLARICE:  I love it.  I love all of it.

MARISA:  I know you love a cemetery.

CLARICE:  I love a cemetery.  It also kind of calls back to, I think, our last year’s Earth Day episode where we talked about plogging.

[0:06:00] MARISA:  Yes.

CLARICE:  I’m still trying to make plalking a thing.

MARISA:  What was plalking?

CLARICE:  We don’t have to run.  Can we just walk.  Can we just pick up trash and walk.

MARISA:  Yeah.  And I think there was a road race in Newport not this past weekend.  I think it was the weekend before where after you were done with the 5K, if that’s what you ran in you had an opportunity to go plogging after the 5K.  And I heard it was a very popular event.

CLARICE:  Oh, that’s awesome.

MARISA:  What else is going on here.  There was a lovely cleanup at the Woonasquatucket River hosted by the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council which is the northern part of the state.  And some groups were also doing more than just an Earth Day type of event.  The Woonasquatucket group did an Earth month for the entire month of April and organized various cleanups and events including canoe and kayaking, birding guidance for folks that love birds.  And that’s actually coming up on the 29th, so if you are at all interested and available in that area, northern Rhode Island, there is another opportunity to continue with your Earth Day celebration.  So that warmed my heart.

CLARICE:  I like it.

MARISA:  I like that there’s an Earth Day.  I like that people get into it and I like that there’s an Earth month.


MARISA:  Obviously I think it’s really important, so.

CLARICE:  Yeah.  That’s some good stuff.  Some other countries — just to do a quick rundown of the list — were Denmark which I don’t think is surprising.  Great Britain does several Earth Day celebrations across the country, most of which have — what I thought was interesting is the big focus of most of their events were charitable events to fight climate change, so it was all mostly focused on fundraising versus —

MARISA:  Cleanup?

CLARICE:  Exactly.

MARISA:  What do we think about that?

CLARICE:  I don’t know.

MARISA:  I don’t either.  I guess you’d have to see which organizations the money was going to.

CLARICE:  Yeah.  There’s a list here.  I don’t know any of the, you know —

MARISA:  Organizations?

CLARICE:  Yeah.  I don’t know them enough to say, oh, these are great, these are bad or, you know, that sort of thing, but they could be helpful on a global scale.  Granada Spain holds a 24-hour global unity in regeneration gathering.

MARISA:  What that?

CLARICE:  It includes presentations and workshops and I believe focuses — if this was — I’m going to pull up the article again, but if I remember it has to do with meditation and sort of peaceful connection.

[0:09:11] MARISA:  Oh, man.  That sounds awesome.  [inaudible] go to this location and meditate.

CLARICE:  Yeah:  India also made the list.  A majority of their Earth Day celebrations focus on protecting the Asian Elephant which, as we know, is an endangered species.

MARISA:  Yeah.

CLARICE:  And then like we already said, there was Canada, Switzerland, again, not surprising.  And Australia hosts — a majority of their celebrations are centered around nature walks and focusing on, I believe, indigenous storytelling so kind of those sort of connection with the land —

MARISA:  Yeah.

CLARICE:  — and promoting that —

MARISA:  Nice.

CLARICE:  — which is really beautiful.

MARISA:  Yeah.

CLARICE:  Yeah.  So, you know, for a long time I thought that Earth Day was a really localized thing and I didn’t expect it to be like countries had sort of an overarching theme in their Earth Day like how India focuses primarily on the elephants and Spain had taken this sort of holistic connection outlook to it —

MARISA:  Yeah.

CLARICE:  — and had that sort of outlook, so I thought that was a cool thing to research a little bit on.

MARISA:  I always feel a little guilty on Earth Day because I’ve never — not I’ve never.  But I generally don’t participate in any particular event because I feel like my firm works so hard every day to try to help the earth, but seeing as how there are so many different options now, rallies, fairs, parties, not just cleanups — workshops are available — I’m feeling like next year 2024 I should make a plan to contribute.

CLARICE:  Oh, we could go to a workshop together.

MARISA:  That would be great.

CLARICE:  I could finally learn to compost properly.

MARISA:  Oh, yeah.

CLARICE:  We need to call our friend Leo again.

MARISA:  Yeah.  Yeah.  And I know you love cemeteries, so I would even be interested in going outside to see what it is that is happening at all these cemeteries.  I’m just looking a little more on Rhode Island Monthly and some other sources and it looks like cemeteries are a very popular location for Earth Day.  That wasn’t just Tiverton.

CLARICE:  Well, that’s where you’re going to find me 2024.

[0:11:57] MARISA:  All right.  We’ll have to make a plan.  And one final thought here.  It looks like Earth Day takes place in more than 190 countries and has grown to become the most widely observed non-religious holiday in history.

CLARICE:  That’s cool.

MARISA:  I can’t believe I’m being positive about it, but.


MARISA:  Facts don’t lie.

CLARICE:  Let’s stop the episode here while we’re doing good.  All right.  Everybody, tell us what you did for Earth Day.  Did you do something big?  Did you do something small, or are you somebody who thinks, you know, you’re doing a little every day, so?

MARISA:  Earth Day is every day.


MARISA:  I would love to see pictures.  If you guys have any pictures that you want to share on social media with us or by e-mail, our e-mail over here is Help@DesautelESQ.com.  Thank you.

CLARICE:  Or the socials.  You could reach us at Desautel Browning Law on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  Our videos are posted on YouTube.  If you can find a way to connect your pet to your Earth Day efforts, we love that extra.

MARISA:  Love the pets.

CLARICE:  We love a pet.  Thanks, guys.  And happy belated Earth Day.


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