It is an important day when the world marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The entire week offers opportunities. Though people may not be able to come together in person in their usual way for cleanups and celebrations, there are ways to acknowledge this important day/week.
As individuals across the globe stay home to do their part to help stop the spread of the virus, Earth Day reminds us that the need to protect human and planetary health has never been greater.
The WWF suggests ways to empower everyone at home to be part of our efforts to ensure the future of a healthy and resilient planet. No single action is too small, and this Earth Day individuals can and will continue to play an essential role in making a difference for both people and the planet.
Here are a few ideas to help our readers become engaged in Earth Day:
- 50 Actions for the Planet: We’ve created a guide that is made up of simple and achievable everyday actions that can start a wave of meaningful change. From choosing sustainable products, to making the most of your ingredients to reduce food waste, the guide provides 50 simple ideas to keep individuals engaged in protecting the planet on Earth Day and beyond.
- #ArtForEarth: During the week of April 20th, WWF is inviting people to create art pieces that show their passion for nature and share their art with the digital world on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using the hashtag #ArtForEarth. Throughout the week, WWF will share some of our favorite pieces on our social media accounts to our millions of followers(Instagram/Twitter: @World_Wildlife and Facebook: @WorldWildlifeFund). The campaign’s mission is to foster a virtual community of creative expression and help unify, inspire, and connect individuals to one another and to the planet during an immensely challenging time throughout our world. Each day of the week will have a new theme to guide artwork:
- Monday, April 20: Wildlife
- Tuesday, April 21: Freshwater
- Wednesday (Earth Day), April 22: One Planet
- Thursday, April 23: Food
- Friday, April 24: Forests
- Saturday, April 25: Climate
- Sunday, April 26: Oceans
Other suggestions: Earth Day Virtual Mini-Film Fest
One Earth Film Fest and the City of Chicago bring you the Earth Day Virtual Mini-Film Fest, offering 6 FREE screenings from April 20 to 26, entirely online in the comfort of your own home. This is an easy, fun and meaningful way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with family and friends all week long.
The following films will be featured:
- “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution,” April 20
- “The Human Element,” April 21
- “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste,” April 23
- “Why We Cycle,” April 24
- Young Filmmakers Contest Honorable Mention Award-Winning Screenings, April 25
- “The Biggest Little Farm,” April 26
Events will offer rich programming, including Q&As via live chat on Zoom with filmmakers, expert panelists and local partners.
The One Earth Film Festival hopes you’ll join them and also encourage the participation of groups to which you belong. Groups can enjoy the live virtual screenings and Q&A with OEFF, and then host their own discussions via Free Conference Call or Zoom.
And last, here are thoughts shared by Shauna Mahajan, a social scientist at World Wildlife Fund:
“Individual actions can add up to create a movement. As Americans are spending more time at home during these challenging and unprecedented times, we can take time to reflect on how we as individuals can make our planet safe and healthy for both people and nature. The best opportunities for creating change come when we align our passions with our actions – so this Earth Day, let’s pause to reflect on how our individual passions can be aligned with action to help us collectively create a green and fair future.”
Photos: Courtesy of World Wildlife Fund
Here are three ways you can spend your Earth Day at home this year while practicing safe social distancing.
- Reflect on hope. As we celebrate 50 years of Earth Day this week, read about some of the biggest conservation wins we’ve accomplished together just in the last ten years. With larger scale threats and global challenges changing our lives every day, it’s important to remember the power of collective action and hope—and why the actions we take to protect our planet matter.
- Support the next generation. Do you know a young trailblazer who is making waves to change the planet to be better, safer, and more sustainable for all of us? Share the 2020 WWF Conservation Leadership Award, and encourage them to apply. Learn more about the details, deadline, and who’s eligible to apply.
- Advocate for science. Amid the breakout of COVID-19, the EPA announced in March a new rule that would limit what scientific information could be used in their decision-making process when it comes to policy making. We need science now more than ever. Will you join us and ensure that science has a leading role when it comes to public health and environmental decisions?