How to Participate in Earth Day Digitally

Help celebrate a milestone anniversary online.

Apr 19, 2020

Earth Day is celebrating its golden anniversary on April 22, 2020 with the theme of action on climate change, an issue of epic proportions that affects all of humanity. The planet is our home and working together is the only way to save our planet.

And working together by mobilizing people, organizations, and governments is what Earth Day is all about. 

The first Earth Day was held in the US on April 22, 1970, when over 20 million Americans left their college campuses, schools, homes, and workplaces to demand action to save the environment.

In the 1970s Americas cities were covered in smog, the rivers were so polluted that swimming and fishing in them was deadly – the Cuyahoga River in Ohio actually caught on fire – and massive oil spills were destroying the coastal environment.

This first day of action was credited with getting the US government to create the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to pass legislation to clean up air pollution and waterways. This was the birth of the modern environmental movement.

While Earth Day, founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, it went international twenty years later in 1990 and is now the largest civic movement that includes events around the world. In 2019, over one billion people took part in global events promoting the protection of species.

But the 2020 theme is even more urgent. “Despite that amazing success and decades of environmental progress, we find ourselves facing an even more dire, almost existential, set of global environmental challenges, from loss of biodiversity to climate change to plastic pollution, that call for action at all levels of government,” Denis Hayes, the organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970 and Earth Day Network’s Board Chair Emeritus said on the organization’s website.

This year, with much of the world isolating from the Coronavirus pandemic, Earth Day is going digital. There’s a map of virtual events that you can join from home. Here are just three of the activities on the map that you can choose from:

 A Zoom event from Zero Waste NYC Workshop features Farm to People, a farmers’ market delivery service and Rhodora Wine Bar, a zero waste restaurant to teach about growing local food, sustainable business practices, food waste, composting and ways you can reduce your environmental footprint.

You can join the Goose Chase Home Edition with Lake Conestee Nature Preserve in Greenville South Carolina. This digital scavenger hunt will allow you to celebrate mother nature with friends and family.

Or join the Go Green in the Philippines marketing campaign that showcases urban lifestyle sustainability. It features sustainable eco-friendly communities and products through online exhibits about tree planting, e-waste collection, junk art installations and more. There will be a social media challenge to go a week plastic free, and several competitions for youth.

You can also take one or more of the 22 Earth Day challenges. These include composting creativity, fix and DIY instead of trashing old items and buying new, doing a plastic audit, and going plant-based for one meal a day. These are all easy to accomplish goals that will help people think more sustainably and  reduce their carbon footprint.

It will take a global community to curb climate change and you can help. “We find ourselves today in a world facing global threats that demand a unified global response. For Earth Day 2020, we will build a new generation of environmentalist activists, engaging millions of people worldwide,” said Earth Day Network president Kathleen Rogers.

So, turn on your computer or smartphone and help enact the positive changes that will save our planet.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.