Tomorrow, April 22, marks the 50th anniversary of the original earth day, a day established to celebrate and mobilize environmental stewardship. The event is now celebrated in 192 countries and is the biggest day of civic action in the world, generating over 2.5 billion actions to date.
Earth Day is organized by Earth Day Network, an organization dedicated to diversifying, educating and activating people globally for environmental stewardship. This year the organizers set a goal to flood the world with hope, optimism and action on Earth Day, setting up a series of digital events and programs you can participate in from anywhere – even from home!
At the same time, organizations around the world and right here in Utah have organized their own events and actions to engage our communities in environmental stewardship for Earth Day.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Choose an event or action and commit to participating in environmental stewardship for Earth Day 2020!
- Check out this listing of official Earth Day events, register for an event and share info about it via social media
- Participate in Earth Day Live, a three day livestream celebration where millions of people can join activists, celebrities, musicians, and more in an epic moment of community and hope for the future.
- Join Earth Day’s Vote Earth campaign, a global initiative that mobilizes millions of people to demonstrate their concern for our planet by rejecting inaction and demanding change at the polls.
- Become an Athlete for the Earth or Artist for the Earth to educate, embrace green initiatives and promote environmental stewardship
- Get your class or team involved using this Earth Day resource for Health classes, Physical Education classes, after school sports activities or sports teams.
- Participate in any of these Earth Day and upcoming green events hosted by other organizations:
- April 22-24 – Utah Earth Day has organized three days of climate events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Each day includes a keynote address (such as an Intergenerational Conversation on Climate Justice with Terry Tempest Williams and Mishka Banuri at 5p on 4/22 – RSVP here), a workshop and an action focused on three daily themes: Strike, Divest and Vote. Learn more.
- April 21-22 – Sustainable Solutions Development Network (a UN initiative) hosts Happiness and Sustainability Around the Earth – a 24-hour webinar, featuring 6 sessions.
- April 22, 10:00a – Strike: Direct Action For Climate Justice is going online with a workshop by the People’s Energy Movement. RSVP here.
- April 22, 1:00p – HEAL Utah’s Heal the Earth Instagram Livestream with Katie Boué, a self-described Cuban-American outdoor advocate, freelance writer and social media expert, professional adventurer, climber, public speaker, former van-dweller, public lands wonk, and founder of Outdoor Advocacy Project.
- April 25th, 11a-2p MT – Citizen Climate Lobby’s Virtual Earth Day 2020: Uniting From Home – hear from climate leaders, learn about quick actions we can take to help climate change, and get trained. With keynote speaker Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a world-renowned climate scientist, evangelical Christian, and host of the podcast, “Global Weirding”.
- May 3rd, 10:00a – Utah Climate Strike has organized a Youth Climate Strike at the Utah State Capitol
- May 6th, 6:00p – Join Citizens Climate Lobby’s Virtual Town Hall on Clean Air and Stewardship with Congressman Curtis, Price Mayor Mike Kourianos, and BYU Professor Arden Pope. Register here.
Other Earth Day Actions
Spread the word! Choose actions and events for Earth Day and spread the word to others! Or take some time this week to tell others about any environmental advocacy work you do and invite or why climate action matters to you. Invite others to join you in taking action!
Reach out to your congresspeople! Let them know that even with everything else going on, you’re still thinking about climate and wanting bipartisan climate efforts to be a priority! This takes less than five minutes, but legislators emphasize that it makes a big difference! Our friends at Citizens’ Climate Lobby recommend Tweeting, rather than calling, during the pandemic. Here’s an easy way to do so.
Make a commitment to do something sustainable at the individual level for the rest of the year. Although governmental action is extremely important for climate, doing things like this can also help because they motivate and remind you and those around you of the problem at hand and how to work towards solutions! Plus, they do add up! Some examples:
- Eliminate use of some sort of single-use plastic (waterbottles, plastic bags, etc.)
- Decrease the amount of red meat or meat in general that you eat in a week by a certain number of meals (Beyond Burgers are sold all over town and aren’t half bad).
- Conserve water and/or eat/buy locally-produced products – both of these things have direct impacts on the energy use of utility and product providers.
Do a neighborhood trash pickup. Stay socially distanced and protect public health while picking up trash in your area. Carry a sign to let others know what you are doing and to spread the word about environmental stewardship around Earth Day.
Place an Earth Day-themed sign or chalk drawing in your front lawn! Show others you care about the earth and inspire them to learn more and take actions of their own.
Donate to an environmental cause! Pick an organization working locally, nationally or globally on the environmental causes near and dear to your heart. Even during COVID-19, environmental stewardship remains as important as ever.
Take some time to appreciate the natural world! Remember that humanity is, in fact, a part of nature rather than an outside force acting on it. Internally focus on the gratitude you have for both society and nature alike to feed your motivation to keep up the good work. These are trying times, but they provide an opportunity for reflection and for improvement, both on the individual and societal level. Let’s take advantage of this!
Thanks to Citizens’ Climate Lobby Wasatch Back Chapter for some of these ideas!