Earth Day 2022
Today is Dandelion Day, but also Earth Day! Earth Day started as simple proposal by activist John McConnell at a UNESCO conference in 1969; it has now grown into an international celebration and movement. Every year, the non-profit EARTHDAY.ORG™ sets an official theme for Earth Day and coordinates events around the globe. For 2022, the theme is “Invest in Our Planet” and the campaigns cover five primary programs: Climate & Environmental Literacy, End Plastic Pollution, Conservation & Restoration, Food & Environment, and Act on Climate Change.
Climate & Environmental Literacy
Awareness is a powerful way to bring changes. The more conscious of environmental issues we are, the better we can collectively tackle these challenges through advocacy and behavior change. EARTHDAY.ORG™ understands the importance of awareness and designed several initiatives to increase climate and environmental literacy—among other, a global network of schools (Earth Day School) and colleges (MobilizeU). Participating institutions can register on the website and access Teach-In Toolkit, a set of guide resources for education campaigns on their campus.
End Plastic Pollution
Plastic is so prevalent in our modern society that most people can’t go a day without generating plastic waste. Due to their non-biodegradable nature, plastic pollution has countless harmful effects on the environment. EARTHDAY.ORG™’s End Plastic Pollution campaign aims to inspire behavior change towards plastics and influence policymakers’ actions. The End Plastic Pollution campaign also includes the Great Global Cleanup®, a global initiative to remove trash from beaches, rivers and parks. We are taking part in this initiative at the University of Rochester with our upcoming Tree Planting and Riverside Cleanup event on Friday, April 29, 2022. You can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conservation & Restoration
With plastic pollution, deforestation and global warming, many of the planet’s biodiversity is threatened. The Conservation & Restoration program drive societal change to restore and protect biodiversity. You can take part in this campaign by joining our tree planting event next Friday or donating to EARTHDAY.ORG™’s Canopy Project for reforestation. Even more conveniently, you can download the Global Earth Challenge app through which you can help researchers train machine learning models for the environment. That’s another effortless way to help the planet from the comfort of your couch.
Food & Environment
Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to climate change. EARTHDAY.ORG™ provides tools to measure our food’s environmental impact, as well as an action plan to shrink our “foodprint.” The organization also highlights regenerative agriculture, a holistic method of agriculture that promotes biodiversity, improving soil health in the process.
Act on Climate Change
Since 1880, the combined land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit per decade according to NOAA’s 2020 Annual Climate Report. The consequences of climate change are devastating and will worsen without corrective action. This Act on Climate Change campaign urges people to take practical action. You can take on the Global Earth Challenge, or our very own Go Green pledge at the University of Rochester.
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2022