World Environment Day

It can be difficult to celebrate something as enormous and vague as “our environment.”

This spring I watched three baby robins hatch, grow feathers, and learn to become independent and important parts of my backyard’s forest ecosystem–right under my deck!

Witnessing little moments of growth in my own backyard helps me appreciate my environment so much more. It’s a beautiful system that regenerates and balances itself.

This year, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) made the World Environment Day theme #GenerationRestoration, to inspire action.

In environmental science, a species’ role in an ecosystem is called its “niche.” Every organism has one; they’re all important somehow.

Humans have a niche too, a pretty big one. And we aren’t acting solely off of instinct; we have the intelligence and resources to decide how much (or how badly) our interactions with other parts of our ecosystem affect the ecosystem as a whole.

The point is, we can do better.

Nature is naturally regenerative; it goes in a circle. Humans don’t usually work like that; we go in a line. Circles are eternal. Lines have beginnings and ends.

What scientists have been saying for years is that we appear to be hurtling ourselves at record speeds towards what could be an end.

But we can do better.

We can reimagine our environmental impact, our niche. We can recreate our pollutive systems and make them greener, more circular. We can restore damaged ecosystems. With worldwide action, we can be the generation to restore Planet A.

Now get off your phone or computer; go outside, celebrate World Environment Day.


Start Here if You’re New

My name is Hannah Etienne, and I’m a junior in high school who created Protecting Planet A. It started as an environmental pageant platform, then an Instagram account, then a Girl Scout Gold Award project, then a website, and now it is all four of those things.

I’ve always had a passion for protecting the environment, so I took AP Environmental Science my sophomore year of high school. I felt that so much of the material in the class should really be common knowledge. I can’t stress enough how important I believe it is for people to be educated about the Earth that they live on and the climate crisis.

Not only that, but it’s important for people to understand that environmentalists aren’t people that just care about trees and turtles. The health of our planet and the health of humanity is so interconnected, which is why I’m striving to keep Protecting Planet A intersectional.

I don’t know everything about environmental science, or environmental policies, or climate change. I strive for progress not perfection. But if there’s any chance you’re willing to learn with me, and help Protecting Planet A become an organization that can truly make a difference, please consider following the Instagram and subscribing to the blog. I’m launching a social media campaign on Instagram for my Gold Award that will hopefully be super educational but also super interesting (not that those two things don’t go together…) and I’m going to keep the captions as short as I can, don’t worry 🙂 I want people to easily digest and remember the information, so that they can apply it to their everyday lives.

A major part of protecting the environment is going to have to come from policy. Large corporations and governments with lots of money and influence are going to have to start prioritizing clean energy for us to really stand a chance against global warming.

But I know this can be intimidating, and I don’t want people to forget about the problem just because they feel like they can’t do anything to help. You can find actionable steps you can personally take to help the Earth on the Protecting Planet A Instagram, and on this website.

That’s all for now (thanks for reading all the way down to here!) and if you gave me a follow @protectingplaneta or @hannahetienne_, just know that I really appreciate it.