April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, created in 1970 to give voice to an emergent public consciousness about the state of our planet. This year, considering the social distancing requirements required by the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration is going digital.
Sustainable Clark encourages members of the Clark community to participate in Earth Day activities from wherever they are. You can watch the 1970 Earth Day speech of Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who spearheaded the annual day, and check out Earth Day Live, 24 hours of content from the Earth Day Network. You also can view an Earth Day events map, join the Earth Day Eco-Challenge, and find more ideas at 50 Actions for 50 Years.
Activities surrounding Earth Day include (all times Eastern):
Tuesday, April 21; 7 p.m.
- Climate Film and Conversation Series
Join the University of Vermont Eco-Reps for powerful and hopeful climate films followed by a facilitated discussion. Click here at 7 p.m. to join Microsoft Teams. Learn more on Facebook.
Wednesday, April 22
- All day — Webinar on Happiness & Sustainability Around the Earth
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is hosting a 24-hour webinar event to explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of well-being and happiness.
- All day — Community Building and Storytelling Day
Twenty-four hours of inspiration.
- 9:30 a.m. — Climate Action and Operational Change at Dalhousie U.
Case Study: Climate action at the institutional level; register here
- Noon — Webinar, Solving the Pandemic and Climate Crises with a Just Transition
Sponsored by the Tufts Environmental Studies Program; register here
- Noon — Short Films: When Corona Met Climate Change…
A series of live, short, and creative responses to the intersection of coronavirus and climate change from EcoCulturalLab. Click here to join live on Microsoft Teams.
- 5 p.m. — Carbon Drawdown Now! Building to Combat the Climate Crisis
Free interactive webinar from Hampshire College to talk about embodied carbon, systems thinking, and climate justice; register here
- 2–3 p.m. and 5–6 p.m. —Seattle University open-to-all virtual “EarthTalks”
Students, faculty, and community partners will present short, five-minute talks about environmental justice and sustainability research, service, and activism. The event will kickoff with Denis Hayes, the principal organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970. Watch live on Zoom.
Thursday, April 23; 1:30–2:30 p.m.
- Five Elements Yoga Class
Participate in this all-levels vinyasa flow class from the comfort of your own home. Earth Week is about wellness not only for the Earth, but also for ourselves. Watch on Instagram Live.
Friday, April 24
- Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for the Future weekly webinar features scientists, journalists, and activists as well as other high-level experts. Watch here.
Wednesday, April 29
How will YOU Celebrate Earth Day? More ideas from the students and staff of Sustainable Clark…
- Build a birdfeeder or birdhouse
- Plant or start working on a vegetable garden area & join the new Victory Garden movement! Use #virtualvictorygardens to share garden and composting tips, or photos and videos of you and your garden.
- Start a composting bin
- Conduct a home energy audit so you can learn how to reduce carbon emissions at home
- Go for a walk with a bag and clean trash from your street or neighborhood. Please wear gloves!
- Treat yourself and the Earth to a houseplant that removes toxins out of the air
- In celebration of Earth Day (or every day), do a short mindfulness meditation outdoors — let nature nurture your spirit. Find a comfortable spot and breathe slowly, in and out. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel right now? Follow the breath and let thoughts come and go like water in a stream. Know that you are part of a larger whole; be at peace.
- Clark’s own A new Earth conversation offers a collection of articles at the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change in a Reader for These COVID-19 Times
- A video series by Amy Mosher-Berry, M.A. ’04, “What’s Hot,” highlights people talking about climate justice.