On April 22, 2020 we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, as well as a movement to take Earth Day to a place it has never been before: online.
While in-person events have been canceled in light of COVID-19, that does not mean that Earth Day is canceled! There are many ways to celebrate conservation and sustainability without breaking social distancing rules.
Consider partaking in one or all of the following activities throughout April to celebrate this worldwide event that began right here in Wisconsin, and keep reading to learn more about the history of Earth Day!
1. Participate Virtually
Many organizations and schools are moving their in-person events online in lieu of canceling! Tune into a class, presentation, or conference virtually to learn more on an array of topics.
2. Download the Earth Challenge 2020 App
3. Participate in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon
The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is the largest fundraiser for bird conservation in Wisconsin! This year’s Birdathon will run from April 15 until October 15, with changes that ensure our participants are following best practices recommended by the CDC. Funds raised support priority bird conservation projects throughout the state. Learn more about our alternative ways to participate.
4. Learn with Documentaries & Books
Consider reading a book, watching a documentary, or enjoying a TEDx Talk to learn more about the Earth and steps you can take to live more sustainably!
5. Participate in a Teach-in
Participate in the Earth Day teach-in put on by the Wisconsin Green Schools Network! Check out a series of lessons for learners of all ages to get outside and explore, learn, and play as Wisconsin celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.
6. Make Art Outside
Many companies are offering discounted or free classes to help you learn during this time indoors. Do you prefer digital art? Nikon has released free photography classes—the perfect way to practice your new skills is by photographing and exploring the outdoors! More of a pencil and paper artist? Tons of famous illustrators are offering free drawing, painting, and sketching classes online. Get outside and start drawing the world around you!
Photo by Chance Centeno.
7. Get Outside
Whether you run, walk, bike, make art, bird, garden, or just relax—get outside! Social distancing isn’t exclusive to being indoors, and one of the best ways to celebrate the Earth is to be outside in the wonders of nature, which you can do right in your own backyard or neighborhood. Please note, as of April 10, 2020, many Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, and Recreational Areas will be closed. Please visit the Wisconsin DNR’s website for the most up-to-date information.
The History of Earth Day
“Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. ‘It was a gamble,’ Senator Gaylord recalled, ‘but it worked.’” (Earth Day Network, 2020).