Welcome to the 50th Annual Earth Week!
The first Earth Day in 1970 launched a wave of action, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States. The Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species Acts, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were all created in response to the first Earth Day in 1970. Many countries soon adopted similar laws, following the United State’s example.
Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people and 190 countries every year as a day of action to change human behavior and provoke policy change.
With COVID-19 upon us, this Earth Day on April 22 will look much different than years past. Unfortunately, the week of environmental programs and activities that the University of Arkansas usually hosts have been modified or postponed. However, NOT throwing a big party is actually more aligned with what the earth needs from us. Ecosystems can easily stand on their own two (or four or thousand) feet when people aren’t overstepping and creating imbalances. This Earth Day will be a quiet celebration of people staying at home, picking up trash, riding bicycles, and celebrating with more than one billion other in this year’s digital Earth Day Live.
Scroll down for a list of free events every day this Earth Week that safely celebrate our planet while safeguarding personal health and the health of our communities.
Earth Day Mindfulness Meditation – 4/20 Monday
Refresh your mind and ground yourself with this one-hour online Earth Day mindfulness session. Provided by the City of Denver Alliance Center, this virtual meditation is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Participants will practice mindfulness exercises, network, and share experiences and gratitude. There will be discussion of some self-care activities that can help us navigate this troubling time. Join the session at 10: 30 AM (CT) on April 20 via Zoom. Login using the meeting ID 498 043 63 and password 5pPJA2. – Zoom Link
Meat-less Monday – 4/20 Monday
Meat-less Monday Global online community offers a space for like-minded individuals to connect, share and work together to find innovative ways to go entirely meatless or reduce your meat consumption and, thus, waste. Going meatless is better for your health, as well as the health of the planet. By reducing your consumption of meat, even for one day, you can reduce your environmental impact on the Earth. Join us this Monday, April 20, by pledging not to eat meat for the whole day. We would love to see your inspired veggie-filled meals! Post photos of your creations and tag us as @sustainua.
Native Plant Watch and Walk – 4/21 Tuesday
This Earth Week we want to take the time to celebrate the beautiful biodiversity of our community! This Tuesday, April 21, we encourage you to get outside and search for Arkansas native plants. All you have to do is use the app “iNatrualist” to take photos of your finds. This event reminds us to appreciate nature through observation and exploration from your home, backyard, or local park. Uploading your documentations of plants, animals, and even fungus to iNaturalist allows people to share the world’s biodiversity. You can also show your love for Arkansas’ native flora by joining the Arkansas Native Plant Society.
OMNI Trash Tag Challenge – 4/22 Wednesday EARTH DAY
What better way to celebrate our Earth than by helping it stay clean? The members of the OMNI Student Coalition RSO created this event as a safe activist opportunity during this time of social distancing. The rules are simple: grab two bags (one for trash and one for recycling), find a location littered with trash, sweep the area, then properly dispose of your finding at your local waste management or recycling center. We encourage you to post your hard work and tag @omni_take_action and @sustainua to show off your hard work and commitment to your community AND for the chance to win a prize! Check out our social media for more information.
Earth Day LIVE – 4/22 Wednesday EARTH DAY
In response to COVID19, EarthDay.org has helped connect the global community for the first every DIGITAL Earth Day! Check out the EarthDayLive website to find a digital event to participate in. Event types include film screenings, webinars, climate action you can take at home, ideas to get outside, and much more. Join over 1,000,000,000 other people in celebrating our love for the Earth on the 50th anniversary of this amazing holiday.
Trail Ride – 4/23 Thursday
Take advantage of our beautiful city and our wonderful recreational resources by participating in this Thursday’s Trail Ride. This is another way to get outside and reconnect with nature all while practicing social distancing. Simply hop on a bike or throw on some sneakers and follow the trail. A map of the trail networks in Fayetteville can be found here. Not sure how to cycle safety during a pandemic? Follow this simple guide to stay safe while you ride.
OMNI Earth Week Livestream – Friday 4/24
The OMNI Student Coalition is bringing together the youth activists of Fayetteville to spread positivity through song and written word and celebrate the ending of Earth Week. Tune in to this one-hour livestream this Friday, April 24, to listen to beautiful original pieces created by local artists and activists and find out more way you can get involved. You watch on the OMNI Instagram Live at @omni_take_action or on their Facebook livestream.
Citizens Climate Lobby Earth Day Webinar – Saturday 4/25
The Citizen’s Climate Lobby is hosting an Earth Day Webinar this Saturday, April 25! Join the zoom meeting to hear from climate leaders, learn about quick actions we can take to help climate change, and how you can join them in their climate lobbying efforts. Keynote speaker Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, is a world-renowned climate scientist, evangelical Christian, and host of the video series, Global Weirding. The schedule and links for the event can be found on their Facebook page. Join us in this effort to unite from home!
No matter where you are spending this pandemic, you are still on Earth and can still celebrate our miraculous home. Enjoy this week of events and Happy Earth Week!