Just because you can’t gather with a group of like-minded people doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Earth Day on April 22.
This year’s event — the 50th anniversary of the holiday — will be celebrated online with Digital Earth Day, according to the Earth Day Network. There will be many other online events, including those hosted by NASA and the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, which will offer at-home activities.
“Amid the recent outbreak, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network.
The Washington, D.C,.-based organization encourages participants to share the eco-friendly actions they are taking on Earth Day by using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE.
According to the Earth Day Network’s website, April 22 will include global conversations and educational videos.
Participants are encouraged to visit earthday.org and follow Earth Day Network’s social media account (@earthdaynetwork) on Earth Day for live updates.
The Earth Day Network offers teach-in tool kits online and there’s an Earth Challenge 2020 app that allows users to learn about environmental issues in their area and compare environmental observations to those in other areas via interactive maps.
“Musicians, artists, scientists and thought leaders will use digital ‘teach-ins’ to share their experience, expertise and lessons to a global audience,” Earth Day Network said.
The Earth Day Network plans to release 12 digital educational initiatives on Earth Day. While most Great Global Cleanup campaigns have been postponed because of the coronavirus, the Earth Day Network said, it hopes the initiative to clean up beaches, neighborhoods and other areas will resume later this year. Cleanups might be held in parts of the world not impacted by the coronavirus.
NASA brings Earth Day home
NASA has new online content and at-home projects in its #EarthDayAtHome collection. NASA’s observation of Earth Day began on March 3 with a “50-Day Countdown” of daily social media posts highlighting the agency’s Earth images and environmental projects. The posts are available on a blog updated on NASA’s Earth Day website, which also includes a toolkit of activities for students and families.
The NASA Earth Facebook account and @NASAEarth on Twitter and Instagram also will have special content through Earth Day.
The first Earth Day was held in April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans demonstrated for a healthier environment. In 1990, the event went global with 200 million people in 141 countries bringing environmental concerns to the world.
Conservation Voters hosting online events
The Conservation Voters of South Carolina is offering events beginning 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. The CVSC, Citizens Climate Lobby and the Environment Defense Fund will host a Climate and Solar Energy 101 webinar, which will focus on climate change impacts in South Carolina. The webinar is hosted via Zoom; registration is required.
CVSC will host a virtual film screening and conversation on the documentary Clinging to Coal: West Virginia's fight over green jobs, 6-7 p.m. Thursday, April 23. Register here.
TIPS TO GO ‘GREEN’
Earth Day is more than a one-day event. Here are some ways to keep the planet clean:
• Use a reusable water bottle: The U.S. uses 50 billion plastic water bottles each year, with most ending up in a landfill. Making plastic bottles uses 17 million barrels of gasoline, enough to power 1.3 million cars for a year.
• Recycle: Reduce your garbage by 10% and your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year by recycling paper, plastic and glass.
• Save electricity: Turn off and unplug any electrics that are not in use. Turn off your computer at night, and turn off lights when you leave a room.
• Try composting: Composting biodegradable food and materials is a way to feed organisms in the soil and plant life while reducing waste. Try composting kitchen scraps to use in your garden or yard.
• Plant a garden: Plant flowers for a fragrant garden, or plant vegetables to grow your own produce. You can plant from food scraps, such as lettuce, celery and onions.