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The devastating spread of COVID-19 has drastically changed our world in less than a month; forcing events to be cancelled, non-essential businesses to close and leaving everyone asking "Will life ever go back to normal?"
It's been fascinating to watch our world adapt to social distancing laws and find creative ways to be resourceful in this uncertain time.
Despite not being able to hold a physical community-based event, Earth Day went ahead to celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 22nd which celebrates the birth of the modern environmental movement!
Of course, this year, Earth Day 2020 looked a little bit different… it was totally online!
Due to the global spread of coronavirus, hundreds of events took place all around the world through our screens. Using social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and collaborative apps like Zoom and Discord, we were able to digitally gather for webinars, performances, meetings, interviews, and prayer/meditation sessions.
Earth Day Network hosted its own massive online event; it spanned over twelve hours and featured messages, performances and calls to action by a whole host of prominent people – including Al Gore, Bill Nye, Elizabeth Warren, John Kerry, Christina Figueres and even His Holiness Pope Francis.
The program showcased global climate change initiatives, the stories of environmental activists, artworks by incredible artists, vegan cooking demonstrations, and even a guided meditation! Such a great assortment of amazing people doing amazing things – and it was all online!
You can find the program and view the live stream here!
Earth Day Network also teamed up with more than 500 street artists around the world to produce amazing artworks for Earth Day 2020 Halt; a global protest using art as its medium. The urban artists – ranging from established to emerging graffiti writers, street artists, and muralists – came together to promote the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and raise awareness for environmental issues. Find and share some of the fabulous artworks here!
The amazing artwork below is by James Cochran (@akajimmyc), in Adelaide, South Australia.
“This wall represents an interconnection to nature, the fact that we are connected on many levels, from a cellular level to a cosmic level, to the world around us.”
Here’s how people and organisations promoted Earth Day all around the world!
Over 24 hours, thousands of people took to social media to celebrate Earth Day with the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EarthDay50.
In the United States, Outrider Foundationput together a wonderful short film called When the Earth Moves. It addresses climate change as the greatest environmental challenge of our time and uses Earth Day as its call to action. Watch it here and be inspired!
Women4Biodiversity put together a wonderful video for Earth Day that outlines some female-led initiatives and explains why gender equality matters for biodiversity conservation. Check it out here!
Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth – the best-selling children’s book by Oliver Jeffers – was adapted into an animated short film on Apple TV+. Many parents all around the world watched it with their kids on Earth Day! Take a look at the adorable trailer here.
In Bournemouth, UK, Science Zone held a Live Online Planetarium Event on Facebook Live! The day included films and documentaries for all ages, and even a Planetarium Q&A.
In Lund, Sweden, Hållbart University students organised an Earth Clean-Up Day and encouraged participants to share the photos of their clean-up efforts on social media. The students emphasised the importance of wearing gloves and keeping your distance from other people: “Let's do something good for our planet while being mindful of the importance of social distancing!”Great idea!
In Perth, Conscious Living Co-Creations held a Zoom event with three keynote speakers called Pathways to a Healthy Sustainable Future.
Museums Victoria continues to celebrate Earth Day by offering a range of activities for kids to do at home! Your kids can take a virtual tour of Melbourne Museum’s Forest Gallery using Google Streetview, take a mindful moment to reflect or draw their favourite animal. This is a really great initiative that incorporates social distancing and Earth Day!
Earth Day’s 50th anniversary was certainly different, but it was no less impactful.
There were so many different ways people celebrated all around the world – all with social distancing in mind! What we saw was a magnificent display of appreciation for our precious environment – and the overwhelming demand for people in power to take meaningful action on climate change.