Earth Day is going digital, so those of us who are stuck inside can still engage with the holiday in a meaningful way. Here are seven activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day from your own home, backyard, or Zoom screen.
1. Watch nature play out on your screen.
While not quite as exciting as visiting a national park or exploring a nearby forest, you can connect with plants and animals by taking a virtual tour. Get lost on Table Mountain, The Garden Route or even The Kruger National Park.
2. Go on a virtual “scavenger” hunt with your kids.
Right now it’s more important than ever for parents to show their children how amazing the world is. For anyone at home with young kids, let them tap into their wild side with National Geographic’s Neighbourhood Safari program. Print out an animal colouring page, or let them draw their own animals or nature scenes, and hang the finished creation on your window or balcony. Try to spot the animals they’ve drawn on Nat Geo Kids Destination World.
3. Stream a new eco-documentary.
At 8 pm on Earth Day, the Discovery Channel will premiere The Story of Plastic, a new documentary about the toll of plastic pollution worldwide. Throughout the rest of the week, EarthxFilm will be streaming new short and feature-length films that bring dozens of environmental issues to life. Check out the full movie lineup here.
4. Learn about how you can live more sustainably.
There’s always been an educational component to Earth Day, and this year many panels and events are being streamed online for free or at a low cost. You can tune in to hear:
- Visit The Healthy Process and find out what Kelly Matthews is up to for Earth Week.
- Attend the 50th Earth Day celebration.
- Herbalist and sustainability advocate Sara Weinreb provide daily rituals for connecting to nature from home 10pm SA time.
- Tune into Earth Day live and explore one of the many events they have on offer.
- The Earth Day Network Conference (April 20–25) will feature professors, politicians, and activists covering a new topic each day. The circular economy and consumption, food and agriculture, and city development are all on this year’s agenda.
- The Earth Institute’s Earth Day 50/50 Event (April 22) will be about looking back on what we’ve accomplished over the last 50 years of Earth Day and discussing what the next 50 could bring.
5. Cook an earth kind meal.
Ask yourself, if you were having Mother Nature over for dinner. What would you make? Explore the possibilities, and create it. This also opens up the dinner table to conservation conversations.
6. Be an app-tivist
The EC2020 asks users to take photos of their horizon lines to compile information about air quality around the world; Earth Challenge 2020 instructs users on how to collect data about their local air and water quality and insect populations. The app allows you to capture research quality environmental data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. The Earth Challenge app not only lets you engage in citizen science to record the environment around you, but it also provides you with the tools to help protect it.
7. If you do have access to nature right now, celebrate it!
During these trying times, nature can be a source of strength and a reminder of the resilience of all living things. If you’re lucky enough to come in contact with it on your walk to the store this Earth Day, slow down and appreciate it with mindfulness. If you are spending the day indoors, be transported to a beautiful place with a nature-inspired meditation or visualization, or show your houseplants some extra love by bringing them to a “dance with plants” Zoom party.
What ever you decide to do, perhaps it’s a good time to contemplate what eco-conscious solutions of the future look like and consider what part each of us play in the conservation of our shared home.