Happy International Earth Day 2020 everyone!
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and most of us will be celebrating from home. No embarking on long hikes into the great outdoors or smelling flowers in parks – but the climate change movement will carry on behind closed doors! Meantime, #EarthDay2020 has moved online and is better than ever.
Historically, Earth Day has enormous implications. It grew organically as a grassroots campaign by passionate campaigners of the Earth, and is today the biggest civic movement. This civilian movement has grown like the wildfires they are campaigning to stop - and spurned governments around the world to take action.
Earth Day led the United States to adopt laws such as the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Other countries followed suit and the United Nations chose the anniverary of Earth Day 2016 to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.
What are you doing for #EarthDay2020?
Today, all around the world, millions of people are celebrating nature and our planet. There are viral music videos, like this beautiful compilation from Indian artists. There are countless online talks about environmental actions and citizen-led initiatives towards a greener planet. There are virtual tours of wildlife sancturaries for children and brain-teasing quizzes for all ages.
The options are endless, but we picked out some nuggets for you:
- Virtual Earth Day: Keep your eye here, as there will be talks live-streamed from different activisits, authors, scientists and pop-culture icons from all around the world.
Some of the biggest names include Pope Francis, and popular science legend Neil de Grasse Tyson!
Animation and Poetry: Kids and adults alike will love these 11 animated short films with the running theme of celebrating the natural beauty of our planet. Some of them incorporate poetry. You can watch them here.
Virtual Festival: Don't miss this online multimedia festival. Musicians, artists, poets and more will be joining forces in an artistic extravaganca until 8 p.m ET tonight. Check it out here.
Natural Geographic Neighborhood Safari: Families all around the world have brought this special event to you - neighborhood art displays. Many children have been confined to their home, some for weeks on end, and Natural Geographic decided to start a campaign to get them to collaborate in a global project and celebrate Earth Day together. Families have been hanging pictures of animals and nature on display in their windows for a neighborhood safari adventure!
The list goes on! You can check out the full agenda on the offical page. Maybe you did something really spectacular? We'd love to hear your Earth Day stories! Do write to us and tell us if you did anything special today.
What are we doing for #EarthDay2020?
What we have always done - offset our carbon footprint.
Here at Under Lucky Stars we offset our carbon footprint every year. We encourage everyone to do the same, and we created this guide to help you or your employer kickstart your fight to help the climate.
We know every step counts - fly less (an easy one today!), buy locally and cut out single use plastics.
For big change however, big action is needed.
This means government-led emissions reduction. As individuals, we can set the example with our lifestyle choices. This will hopefully put the pressure on governemnts to do their part with political changes.
Our policy solution won a Nobel Prize - it's called carbon pricing.
The idea behind carbon tax is simple: tax high emitters and then share the profits among citizens. We will all avoid paying high taxes if we can, and in this case the tax would be avoided by reducing the emissions. Everyone wins!
Earth Day 2020 falls in a year like never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people indoors. Manufacturing, air transport and other normally high-emission industries have slowed down to a near halt across continents.
Air pollution has dropped to unprecendented levels. The improvement in air quality has already saved an estimated 77,000 lives in China.
In natural parks wild animals are roaming further than ever before. In China two pandas mated for the first time in 10 years in the privacy a zoo free of people.
The government imposed lockdowns and voluntarily social distancing will not last forever though. We hope this Earth Day will inspire enough people to take the action, and put pressure in the right place, to make this the year that we step back from the climate change precipice.
Stay home and keep safe. We hope you enjoy the wonderful virtual celebration of Earth today, and we hope everyone continues to celebrate our wonderful planet every day onwards!