Apart But Connected
Celebrating 50 years of Earth Day, 22 April 2020
Wishing you all a very merry Earth Day!
Today, the 22 April 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day - a global movement to create a new plan of action for our planet focused on environmental support. Earth Day started in 1970 when 20 million Americans (10% of the U.S. population at the time) took to the streets to demand environmental action to combat increasing air and water pollution. This event is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and the ongoing fight for environmental justice. The work continues to this day, with 2020’s theme being “Climate Action” - a massive issue with massive opportunities that touches all aspects of our lives.
Underlying the key messages of Earth Day this year is the physically-distant reality of Covid-19. We have talked previously about this idea of “Apart But Connected” (Read More: Staying Connected), and while we haven’t been able to spend as much time outdoors as we normally would, we are still taking time every day to connect with our community and nature. No matter where you are in the world, we hope you are finding ways to remain connected - whether that is coffee on your balcony, sticking your head out a window to chat with a neighbour, walking to the grocery store, or seeking garden advice from your online community.
It is undoubtedly true that with the stresses and changes of Covid-19, it is easy to forget about other issues. But, it has only been a couple of months since Australia was devastated by bushfires, and merely a few weeks past that the U.S. South was rocked by tornadoes. Our environment is in a fragile state that needs our attention. As shown by scenes in Venice and China, however, nature is resilient and when we give her a break she can bounce back - bringing dolphins into the canals and clear skies to the community. In the words of the Earth Day Campaign:
The coronavirus pandemic does not shut us down. Instead, it reminds us of what’s at stake in our fight for the planet. If we don’t demand change to transform our planet and meet our climate crisis, our current state will become the new normal — a world where pandemics and extreme weather events span the globe, leaving already marginalized and vulnerable communities even more at risk.
To keep the movement going - to keep us apart but connected - Earth Day 2020 has shifted online, hosting a digital event of thought leaders and climate advocates, with hundreds of local digital events worldwide. As we isolate at home with a bit more free time than usual, this online access allows us to tap into a global movement and join our worldwide community. It is easy to forget our power as individuals - yet we are all a part of the value chain and our voices have power when we unite with thousands or millions of like-minded souls around the world. If you want to learn more about the Earth Day movement, maybe host a teach-in for your community, or tune in to the main event (and send us a digital wave!), please check out their website here.
Stay Merry everyone! xx
(Earth Day 50th Anniversary Poster, credit Iliana Galvez)