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Cupid at work on Earth Day

EARTHDAY.ORG journalist Lilly Howard shares the stories of couples who fell in love on Earth Day
The canopy of a forest with a heart-shaped hole showing blue sky

Earth Day, commemorated annually on 22 April, is a time for people to celebrate the environment and advance towards a cleaner climate.

But many also mark the occasion as the day they found true love.

Combining the love for the Earth and the love for others is a beautiful way to honour the incredible planet we all call home. 

Earth Day wedding days

Some couples even decided to tie the knot on 22 April, incorporating greener wedding decorations and climate action initiatives into their ceremonies. 

Two marine ecologists, Enie and Marc Hensel, got married on Earth Day in 2017 in St. Augustine, Florida, according to Good Morning America.

Because they are located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, their home is very susceptible to the effects of climate change and plastic pollution. 

‘We chose this scenery and this day as a way to share our love and respect for nature with our close friends and family’, said Enie Hensel.

The Hensels had locally sourced produce, stainless steel straws, recycling bins and minimal plastic at their ceremony.

Plastics are found in the water we drink and the food we eat. Studies, including EARTHDAY.ORG’s Babies vs. Plastics report, have even shown a higher percentage of microplastics in the air we breathe inside than the air outside.

‘Our reliance on plastics could be the biggest gamble in the story of health in human history. We are all ingesting and inhaling microplastics.’

KATHLEEN ROGERS
EARTHDAY.ORG’s President
 

Protecting our planet

To have a sustainable, waste- and plastic-free contribution to their special day, the Hensels also waded out into their local marshes to collect sola wood flowers, which grow in very dry areas, for their floral arrangements.

They even used a washed-up fishing net as decorations, reusing trash lost at sea and turning it into a beautiful addition to their scenery.

The couple also incorporated climate education into their celebration, posting signs with 10 things people could do to be more environmentally friendly, such as avoiding plastic bags at the grocery store. 

Effective waste management, recycling and monitoring are vital to the downstream process, but without focused upstream action, plastics and microplastics will continue to flood our environment, our homes and our bodies.

‘Nature provides us with food, water, medicines, cleans our air and water, protects us from storms, etc. Earth Day gives us a great opportunity to take a step back to appreciate how unique this planet is, how valuable it is to humans, and how important it is that we protect it.’

ENIE HENSEL

Love at Philadelphia’s Earth Day

Mike Weilbacher is the executive director of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia, which is described as the region’s largest and oldest nature centre on its website.

Mike met his wife while planning Philadelphia’s Earth Day extravaganza in 1990, when her parade reached his outdoor stage. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, this event is Philadelphia’s longest-running Earth Day event.

20 years after the inaugural Earth Day, the celebration spread; over 100 million people in 100 countries now join together to advocate for the environment and bring awareness to climate change. 

Teresa Heinz and John Kerry

Another more known couple did not tie the knot on Earth Day, but started their journey together while celebrating the environment.

In 1990, Teresa Heinz met Senator John Kerry at an Earth Day rally, which sparked a love that lasts to this day.

This was the only reported time the two met before her first husband, Senator Heinz, died in a plane crash the following spring.

In 1992 Teresa Heinz met Kerry again; this time they were both delegates at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Three years later the couple got married in Nantucket. In January of 2021, Kerry was sworn in as the first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the first Principal to sit in on the National Security Council entirely dedicated to climate change, which has now been taken over by John Podesta. 

Under this role, Kerry was responsible for leading United States diplomacy to address the climate crisis by increasing global climate ambition.

His team focuses on enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate impacts, driving overseas clean energy innovation and competitiveness, among other initiatives to better integrate climate advocacy in international shipping and aviation activities, according to the US Department of State website. 

All in all, a shared love for the environment has the power to bring people together for life and empower them to help save the Earth together.

It is important to remember that we are all susceptible to plastic pollution and climate change, and the best day to fight it is to work together as one unit by sharing our love for the planet and the people who inhabit it.

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