The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970, when 20 million people took to the streets and college campuses to protest environmental ignorance and promote environmental awareness. The movement, now recognized as the world’s largest civic event each year, launched the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day Vision:
“Our world needs transformational change. It’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to city and national government.
That’s where you come in: As an individual, you yield real power and influence as a consumer, and a member of a community that can unite for change.
Don’t underestimate your power. When your voice and your actions are united with thousands or millions of others around the world, we create a movement that is inclusive, impactful, and impossible to ignore.
The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day is the time for a global outpouring of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to create a new plan of action for our planet. Earth Day 2020 can be the catalyst that galvanizes an unparalleled global collaboration.”
Here are some of the activities for the Earth Day 2020, which will give diverse voices a platform and demand bold action for people and the planet:
Share Your Air: Document Your Air Quality with the EC2020 App:
In partnership with the Wilson Center and the U.S. State Department, Earth Day Network has created a new air quality recording tool: the Earth Challenge 2020 app (EC2020).
To get started, all one needs is a smartphone. With EC2020, users can record images of the horizon to be added to a global database of similar air quality recordings. These data points will form a global map of readings, showing how air quality varies around the planet and how human activity shapes these trends.
The Great Global (Solo) Cleanup:
To practice safe and responsible cleanups, Earth Day Network has adopted the original solo cleanup: plogging. Plogging — a combination of Swedish words plocka (to pick up) and jogga (to jog) — has come to represent any physical activity where not only do you exercise for personal health, you also collect litter in the process. Pick up litter on your daily jog or rollerblade around the neighborhood.
Create for the Earth:
Art works in ways that science alone cannot, making climate change personal, engaging people’s hearts and inspiring the will to change.
Art has the power to reach people personally, establishing a deeper understanding and emotional connection with what is happening to our planet. You can register to participate and upload your proposals.
Become a Citizen Scientist:
Earth Challenge 2020 is the app fueling the world’s largest citizen science effort, available on Android and iOS devices.
Earth Challenge lets you gather important scientific data near you. It has two elements for you to measure — air quality and plastic pollution — with more on the way.
Make your next meal plant-based:
Animal agriculture requires huge amounts of land and water. A single pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water. On top of depleting valuable resources, producing meat contributes a staggering level of greenhouse gas emissions. However, a plant based burger generates 90% less GHGs and has 99% less water impact and has 93% less impact on land use.
What we eat is important for the health of self and the planet. For your next meal, you could make a climate conscious choice and go plant-based.
Call for Green Spaces:
Trees and other plants reduce air pollution, offset emissions and reduce the “heat island effect,” where concrete and other infrastructure traps warmth in cities.
Parks are also great for minds and bodies, giving access to recreation and relaxation that can’t be substituted.
Community gardens and urban farms feed communities, while waterfront parks increase resilience to flooding, rising sea levels and the effects of climate change.
Not only on Earth Day 2020, do your part to create more green, resilient spaces in your community.
Act on Plastic Pollution:
Reduce your own plastic waste. Start by using the plastic calculator to track how much you use — then you can take steps to reduce your use and waste.
Always choose quality and durability over convenience. Single-use bags, cups, and other products usually cost you more in the long term — and definitely cost our planet.
Find the plastics you no longer need and dispose of them properly. If you can, replace them with long-lasting options.