Earth Day Celebrations Flourish Online
Environmental organisations are mobilising digital tools to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22) and issuing eco-directives for quarantined climate crusaders. A pandemic-fuelled surge in online activism, outlined in Activism Moves Indoors, is uniting advocacy groups and creating new templates for encouraging at-home engagement in key causes.
The global nonprofit Earth Day created a social media toolkit to propel its planned Digital Surge; an effort to “fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more”. The organisation is also producing an Earth Day live stream featuring scientists, politicians and celebrities. A new call to action will be issued hourly, like documenting air quality or making your next meal plant-based.
The New York-based Earth Day Initiative is conducting virtual workshops – topics include food security and the mental-health connection to climate change – to “demonstrate what activism can look like in the 21st century”. Attendees can also tour virtual exhibitor booths from activist groups including Extinction Rebellion and Billion Oyster Project.
Moving all activations online allows for sustained momentum, with Earth Day expanding into a multi-day digital festival. US youth eco-activists Zero Hour, Sunrise and Youth Climate Strike are joining forces for Earth Day Live, a 72-hour live stream featuring US politicians like Al Gore and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as celebrities and musicians. The event features daily themes: Strike (April 22), Divest (April 23), and Vote (April 24). It also links to city-specific live streams, like Earth Week NYC’s digital strike toolkit for lobbying on local issues.
Nasa began marking #EarthDayAtHome in mid-April. A dedicated blog counting down to April 22 includes video messages from astronauts and an invitation to play NeMo-Net, a game that helps train Nasa supercomputer Pleiades to study coral on the ocean floor.