Celebrate World Health Day and Earth Month with Aloha!

Photos: Hands holding plants

What’s the connection between World Health Day and Earth Month? It’s no coincidence that they are both in April. A clean environment is crucial for the healthy and happy lives of all living beings.

Green Planet

World Health Day is commemorated in early April to acknowledge the universal right to good health. The day draws attention to environmental threats to wellness for people all over the world, such as air and water pollution, poor nutrition, and lack of access to health services and education. 

Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 on April 22nd. It was created in response to a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, but to many activists that was just the tipping point—environmental deterioration had been escalating alarmingly in the U.S for decades. Earth Day became a rallying point for concerned people nationwide to unite for environmental protection.

People in Hawaii also found encouragement in the Earth Day movement, but the ideas were not new; the concepts of mālama ʻāina (taking care of the land) and aloha ʻāina (love of the land), are ingrained in the native culture. According to a Bishop Museum historian, “Let’s take a look at the word ʻāina. You have the word ʻai at the beginning of the word, which is the verb, “to eat”. So when you put the word ʻāina together, it means, ‘that which feeds not only humans, but everything’ (Professor Jon Osorio).”

Taking care of and loving the ʻāina is essential to assuring that all people, and all living entities, have nourishing food to eat and safe places to live. Without healthy food, how can people in Hawaii and worldwide thrive and be well?

Photo: Down to Earth Bag

At Down to Earth we like to celebrate not just Earth Day, but also Earth Month, for the entire month of April. Down to Earth was founded in 1977 under the influence of the Earth Day movement, as well as the Hawaiian wisdom of mālama ʻāina and aloha ʻāina. Our intent every day that we open our doors is to encourage the best environmental and personal health for all, through plant-based clean eating and green living.

Down to Earth’s vision is inspired by Hawaii’s state motto, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness” (Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono). We envision a Hawaii where all people “Cherish the land and live in health and harmony” (E Mālama I Ka ʻĀina, E Ola Pono).

Join us in celebrating World Health Day, Earth Day, and Earth Month by taking good care of yourselves, your ‘ohana, neighbors, and friends, and having aloha for the ʻāina. And while we’re at it, let’s make everyday Earth Day and World Health Day. Eat well, live well, love life, and have aloha for all!