How To Celebrate Our Planet Right Where You Are On The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

You can still learn and become an earth activist even though we're under quarantine. Here's how!

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but celebrations, protests and educational activities to mark the day will be much different than in years past because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders. Group events have been cancelled, but many organizations have come up with ways for people to participate on line. The Earth Day organization, which started it all, has tons of ways to get involved.

Looking mod on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970Earth Day Network/Instagram

For example, more than 500 street artists around the world have planned and executed a worldwide demonstration. They're creating graffiti, street art, murals and other creative projects to, as the earthday.org website puts it, "provoke thought and inspire action for our planet." Check out this cool video featuring some of their art:

#EarthDay2020Halt: The Global Stealth Street Art Campaign www.youtube.com

The Earth Day folks have an interactive map so you can see if there are any street art projects or installations going on in your city that you can check out in person. In addition they're using their social media (@EarthDayNetwork) to release one action each hour for 24 hours. Pick one that inspires you and participate in helping the planet. In the 9 EDT hour, the call to action was how to contact your lawmakers to advocate for policy change.

The organization EarthX has partnered with National Geographic for a week of virtual debate and education. Click here for details on virtual conferences, events, and even a film festival.

A walking trail on the West End Overlook in Pittsburgh might be the place to enjoy Earth Day. Check with your community to see if your parks are open.Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy/Facebook

Many local organizations also have plans to celebrate, at least virtually. For example, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hosting a virtual interactive Earth Day celebration. There will be two online Q&A sessions with Parks Conservancy Naturalists, a Nature in Your Neighborhood discovery scavenger hunt, Storytime with Amber, a Parks Conservancy Naturalist Educator, and much more.

Earth Day in Pittsburgh would normally be boots on the ground. This year because of the coronavirus, we're celebrating virtually.Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy/Facebook

Check out the conservancy's social media channels (@pittsburghparks) for the full lineup and join in on the fun. Jayne Miller, president and chief executive officer of the conservancy says now more than ever we have to care for our planet. "Nature is very giving, and we need to do everything we can to take care of it and give back."

"This year's Earth Day celebration is especially important because so many of us depend on nature to help us cope during this uncertain time."

How can you start something good?

To find Earth Day activities near you, here's a map where you can click on your area and see what's going on in your community. You can even sort by the type of activity, or appropriate age ranges to find activities for your kids.

You can also donate to the Earth Day Network or register to volunteer. If you'd rather support a conservation organization in your community, a quick internet search should help you find one like the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to donate or volunteer.

The Conversation
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