It is easy to think that our current restrictions on movement and social/physical distancing prevent us from undertaking meaningful action with regards to the environmental movement. Yet, technology has made it possible for us to connect, despite being physically distanced from each other.
This week we shine a spotlight on the work of the Earth Day Network, their aims, initiatives and ways in which we can still engage and participate in the discussion and the environmental movement from our homes.
About The Earth Day Network
The Earth Day Network (EDN) was established in 1970, growing out of the world’s first ever Earth Day event. Working with in over 190 countries, with over 75,000 partners, it is now the world’s leading recruiter for environmental causes and towards the environmental movement as a whole.
The Earth Day Network’s mission is:
“To build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet.”
Image from www.earthday.org
Through their work, initiatives and events EDN aim to educate, expand, diversify and most importantly, activate the global environmental movement. Not only do they work towards policy change and large-scale action, but EDN also encourage action by individuals. EDN promote the idea that by uniting as individuals, we can create real change and have a significant impact. Through individual action as consumers, members of the community and most importantly perhaps, as voters, EDN aim to create social engagement and to mobilise all members of our society. They strongly advocate for civic engagement in environmental matters and seek to create and offer opportunities for people to engage with the movement at a local, state, national and global level.
The Work Of The Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network's work spans across a range of issues, which they have broken down into wider themes of:
· Climate action;
· Science and Education;
· People and Communities;
· Conservation and Restoration;
· Plastic and Pollution.
Throughout their work, events and initiatives they continue to aim towards educating and broadening the definition and understanding of the term ‘environment’, so that it encompasses not just issues such as climate change, but also issues which affect our health and our communities. This work includes (but is not limited to) action towards preventing air and water pollution, creating green jobs and supporting investment in this area and supporting schools and communities (particularly low-income communities and those who are most often marginalised and vulnerable) to become greener.
The work of the EDN places strong emphasis on the need to educate and much of it includes supporting education in a range of ways, including through lectures, workshops and discussions. They also work towards creating ‘foodprints for the future’ and look at ways to create sustainable food supplies. Part of their work with regards to the environment and the prevention of plastic and pollution, includes developing opportunities for a global clean-up, in which volunteers can organise clean-up events near them.
Actions You Can Take At Home
The EDN website is filled with ideas, resources and actions you can take to get involved in the environmental movement. From local events near you (which you can find using their interactive map) to national and global campaigns, there is a wealth of information and ideas available.
Given the limitations faced by us all during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular with restrictions to our movement and creating events and gatherings, EDN have created a list of suggestions for actions you can take from home.
Earth Day on the 22nd April 2020 has now moved online and will still go ahead digitally. You can look online for a digital event to participate in, including the one held by Dunami.
Image from www.earthday.org
Other actions you can take from home include:
· Donating to EDN (your support and contributions allow the non-profit organisation to continue its work);
· Get involved in a digital Earth Day event or initiative;
· Limit your meat consumption;
· Host a Teach-In as part of the Earth Day activities, allowing you to share your knowledge and educate others about environmental issues;
· Host an online community discussion about environmental issues, such as climate change or plastic pollution;
· Make an Earth Day sign/poster and put it on your windows;
· Use the Earth Challenge 2020 app (available for Android and iOS devices) to help gather important scientific and environmental data about air pollution and plastic pollution near you. You can use the app during your daily exercise/walk;
· Use your power and influence as a voter. Vote for positive environmental policy changes and sign online petitions that call for policy changes;
· Connect to others via social media, the website and discussions groups.
The EDN website has a wealth of information and ideas. This week, we invite you to spend some time finding out more about the work of the Earth Day Network and their initiatives.
Choose one of the ideas from the list above of actions you can take at home and do it. Share it with others via social media and in the comments below, so that you too help to educate and inspire others to engage with the environmental movement.