April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In 1970, an estimated 20 million people celebrated the first Earth Day by joining together in parks, streets, and universities to promote a healthy planet. Since then, billions of people across the globe participate in Earth Day, making it the largest secular observance in the world. But this year, individuals and organizations will celebrate Earth Day differently. In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Earth Day Network has turned Earth Day's 50th anniversary into a digital event. Whether you're an environmental enthusiast or just learning about Earth Day, there are still numerous ways to celebrate this year and make a difference! Continue reading for more information on Earth Day 2020 and to learn how your business can participate.
EARTH DAY 2020
To pay tribute to the 50th anniversary, Earth Day Network is tackling the most pressing environmental challenge the world currently faces: climate change. “The urgency has never been greater,” the organization said in a recent statement, “and the stakes have never been higher. We are now in an environmental emergency and a climate breakdown.” Scientists have concluded that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have warmed the planet in the past 50 years. Earth Day Network demands that our world leaders take climate action seriously, and we can help by communicating how everyone can take action.
How Can You Help?
To solve climate change, we must act now. Earth Day Network has planned several activities for Earth Day's 50th anniversary even as we celebrate remotely. They include:
- Earth Challenge 2020: Help Earth Day Network discover environmental issues and help advance environment research. Sign up here.
- Vote Earth: Vote Earth encourages citizens to vote to ensure candidates address the climate crisis and protect the planet. Click here to vote!
- Organize a Teach-In: Earth Day Network is asking individuals around the world to take part in the 2020 Global Teach-In. The teach-ins will feature a series of lectures and discussions on a variety of environmental topics that will help individuals create a better future.
Celebrate Earth Day Remotely
Like many businesses and individuals, RoadRunner is not letting the virus stop us from getting involved, and you don't have to either! Even as we work remotely and practice social distancing, we must all stay committed to bettering our communities and protecting the environment. One of RoadRunner's cultural ambassadors, Milana Novgorodsky explained, "Earth Day is a day to give back to the Earth--It is an occasion to get involved with environmental activism and choose a cause to educate yourself on and advocate for, whatever that may be." In celebration of the 50th anniversary, RoadRunner's cultural ambassadors have provided several opportunities for employees to complete different Earth Day activities with social distancing in mind, and we wanted to share the list with you in hopes of inspiring your organization to get involved!
1. Create an Earth day quiz
Leading up to Earth Day, our cultural ambassadors have shared videos every day to announce Earth Day and environmental facts. Sharing the videos is a great way to keep employees engaged and informed at a time when it's very important for us to stay connected. The presented facts will be compiled into a quiz and shared on Earth Day! Check out two of the videos from our cultural ambassadors below:
2. Complete a neighborhood cleanup
Most scheduled Earth Day cleanups have been postponed until later in the year, but employees can still complete individual cleanups in their neighborhoods. Something as simple as picking up litter when we're taking a walk during our lunch breaks can make a positive impact, and hopefully inspire others to get involved as well. Every action counts! See what others are doing and register a cleanup here.
3. Start an at-home composting program
While working remotely, you have probably noticed an increase in waste generation. Instead of throwing your food waste in the garbage, try composting it instead! According to the EPA, composting helps create nutrient soil, decreases the need for chemical fertilizers, and reduces methane emissions from landfills. For help getting started, check out the EPA's guide to Composting At Home!
4. Make an Earth Day window SIGN
Share the good news with your neighbors! Earth Day Network says one of the easiest ways to participate is by putting a sign in your window to let your neighbors know how they can get involved. Creating a sign is also a great way to get the kids involved. Click here for window sign inspiration.
5. Make your own organic cleaning PRODUCTS
Avoiding the grocery store? No problem. Making homemade organic cleaning products is much safer than using store-bought cleaning products. While many store-bought cleaning products are toxic and non-biodegradable, which negatively impacts the environment, using natural cleaning products helps create a healthier environment! Check out this article for more information.
6. Collect a week's worth of materials for recycling
Believe it or not, you most likely generate more recyclables than you realize, and collecting a week's worth of materials is probably easier than you think. Start collecting cardboard, mixed paper products, plastics, aluminum, and glass for recycling. If you're new to recycling, hopefully you will realize how easy it is and incorporate the activity in your everyday life.
7. Purchase GROCEries or order takeout locally
Buying groceries locally or ordering takeout from your favorite local restaurant can help your community continue to thrive during this pandemic. And not only that, buying from locally owned businesses conserves energy and resources by using less fuel for transportation and less packaging materials.
8. Plant something
Plants are natural air purifiers, stress reducers, and a great reminder of the importance of sustainable living. They also help absorb toxins and reduce indoor air pollution. At a time when we're fighting a contagious virus, something as simple as planting can promote positive outcomes.
9. Donate materials from spring cleaning
Finally have some extra time to start spring cleaning? Donating gently used materials, like clothing or tools, reduces waste while helping those in need. Some of the places you would normally donate materials may be closed at this time, but many charities are still accepting donations by mail. You can also search for donation drop off containers in your area for organizations like Planet Aid and Good Will.
10. Do something creative with your recyclable materials
You may be surprised to learn what you can create with your recyclables! Some people may refer to this activity as repurposing or "upcycling", and ideas include growing plants in egg cartons, using tin cans for pencil holders, or large plastic bottles as bird feeders. The possibilities are endless!
What Does Earth Day Mean To You?
Even though we will celebrate Earth Day differently this year, we'd still love to hear what Earth Day means to you and how you will be participating, especially at a time when supporting our communities is so important. Tag us in some of your photos on social media to let us know, and be sure to follow our Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more Earth Day updates. Thanks for reading!