Earth Day is always celebrated on April 22, and this year, it's going digital
In previous years, Earth Day has been marked by street protests, litter cleanups and mass tree planting. Of course, we are currently living a new normal on lockdown, so Earth Day 2020 is going digital – but we can still celebrate the environment without going outside.
Earth Day was created on April 22, 1970, when 20 million people took to the streets in the United States to protest environmental neglect. Since then, every year, the day marks a celebration of an international environmental movement. This year, which marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the theme is climate action – basically the most pressing issue that threatens our planet.
In reality, when the virus dies out life will return to normal – but we must not allow the return to business as usual. Our planet and our future depends on it.
This year, we are being encouraged to protest virtually, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and share the hashtag #EarthDay2020. Here’s how to get involved:
Support your local garden centre
Currently, the government is not allowing the reopening of garden centres, as they are not ‘essential shopping’. But with greenery (read: house plants) playing a key role in our mental wellbeing, it’s important to still get your nature fix. Recently the Horticultural Trade Association (HTA) revealed the virus outbreak could cost the UK gardening industry £200 million, as thousands of plants grown for flower shows and the summer season will be binned or die.
One way to support independent plant nurseries is by purchasing from their online shops, if they have them. Websites like Independent Nurseries Guide and RHS Support Our Nurseries can help you find your local nurseries to buy from online.
Test your environmental knowledge
Unsurprisingly, quizzes have grown in popularity since lockdown. They are the perfect way to pass the time with friends (over Zoom, obviously) and absorb answers that might one day win you a tenner in the pub. For Earth Day 2020 on Wednesday, why not dive a little deeper into your environmental knowledge and see how much you know about the world’s greatest threat (aka climate change). On a serious note, getting educated on environmental issues is one of the most important things that we can do, as it keeps us informed and will also help you convince others who might be skeptical about the pressing need for climate action.
Test your knowledge using Earth Day’s official digital quiz here.
Vote Earth and ask 3 friends to do the same
Vote Earth is encouraging us to use our voting power to ensure we address the climate crisis, combat environmental problems and restore, conserve and protect the natural world. The initiative mobilises millions of people to demonstrate their concern for our planet by demanding change at the polls. All you have to do is pledge to take a vote for environmental progress, and challenge three of your friends to do the same to keep the momentum going. Plus, you’ll get an email reminder to vote if you check ‘send me email updates’. More information here.
Become a citizen scientist
Fancy becoming a ‘citizen scientist’? Us too. The Earth Challenge 2020 app allows you to measure two elements – air quality and plastic pollution – through beach cleanup events. Alongside thousands of other participants, you can help gather important scientific data and information, which once submitted will be displayed on a public map and made available as open data for researchers to use.