Earth Day

Earth Day

A Message from Downstate President Wayne J. Riley:

Dear Downstate Community,

Today marks the 53th Anniversary of Earth Day—an annual commemoration that aims to spur national and global support of environmental protection efforts. In the world we once knew, this event would be commemorated globally via festivals, rallies and en masse environmentally-friendly deeds. In the COVID-19 era, however, celebrations have seemingly been turned on their heads, with most of us at home.

While this pandemic may have halted the normal we were accustomed to, it has given birth to a new reality where time for deep reflection is made possible, and doing our part via individual contributions and self-accountability are now increasingly important.

In honor of Earth Day 2023, as healthcare heroes here at Downstate and around the world continue fight for all of humanity, let us all take this moment to recognize how intimately connected public health is to the health of our environment.

Although it may be tough to see, there are some real advantages to the way the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how we live. One of those proof points… coronavirus lockdown's have resulted in an unprecedented decline in air pollution for metropolitan cities around the world!

Social distancing measures come with the added benefits of less traffic, which means less pollution and cleaner air.

While we may not be able to attend tree-planting events at over-crowded parks to collectively celebrate the importance of this event this year, let us all take ownership of how our individual actions impact the whole, and take solo-initiative to help heal Mother Earth.

In honor of Earth Day 2023, here are a few “Downstate-approved Tips” on how to safely celebrate and protect the Earth during this pandemic:

  1. Plant a garden in your backyard.
  2. Make one plant-based meal a week for you and loved ones in your home.
  3. While online shopping, direct your spending towards eco-friendly products and companies.
  4. Ditch the plastic! (tip: start by drinking from reusable glass bottles)
  5. Practice RECYLING in the home!

Earth Day Links:

Earth Day Educational Activities:

Book List:


  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
  • Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta
  • The Wild Lands by Abby Geni
  • The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth


  • Backyard Giants: The passionate, heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Susan Warren
  • The Age of Consequences: A Chronicle of Concern and Hope by John Courtney White
  • A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
  • Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The World with Out Us by Alan Weisman
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver