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How to celebrate Earth Day 2021

Most events are still virtual

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Earth

Let’s face it, it’s been a long and hard year for the denizens of our planet since Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020. However, it’s possible that things are looking up somewhat. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in many parts of the world, we do have vaccines that may eventually get us past this. And in the meantime, the Biden administration in DC is putting environmental programs in place that may get the US back on track. So perhaps it’s worth doing a little partying (and educating) on behalf of this year’s annual celebration of the environmental movement, which is set for April 22nd.

Once again, most Earth Day celebrations will be virtual. What follows is a sampling of some that you can attend. For a more complete list, or to find Earth Day celebrations in your area, you can use Earthday.org’s online tool for both online and on-site events.

Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth

Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth
Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth
Image: Earthday.org

Earthday.org’s second annual “Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth” online live stream event will be broadcast on April 22nd beginning at noon, parallel to the Biden administration’s global climate summit (see below). It will feature a variety of celebrities, politicians, and activists from many fields. It will be preceded by two events: on April 20th, there will be a global youth summit, and on April 21st, a global education summit. To take part, visit Earthday.org on the day of the event.

Leaders Summit on Climate

Leaders Summit on Climate
Leaders Summit on Climate
Image: US Dept. of State

President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to a Leaders Summit on Climate which will take place April 22nd and 23rd. On the agenda are weighty questions, including how to reduce emissions, achieve net-zero (offsetting or reducing carbon dioxide emissions), and protect populations from climate change. You’ll be able to watch via a live stream link which will be available closer to the date of the event.

American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2021)

American Climate Leadership Summit
American Climate Leadership Summit
Image: ACLS

Another alternative to the Leaders Summit on Climate is the American Climate Leadership Summit, an online gathering of environmental activists happening April 27th - 29th. Sessions will offer information on the current status of climate change, strategies for activism, and other topics. It costs $25 to attend a single forum, $50 to attend the main session and a single forum, and $75 for access to the entire program.

Join a virtual march and rally

SC1.5NCE NOT SILENCE
SC1.5NCE NOT SILENCE
Image: EDI / March for Science NYC / Fridays for Future

Two organizations, Earth Day Initiative (EDI) and March for Science NYC, are collaborating to offer a series of online events culminating in a virtual march and rally using an online gaming platform. On Sunday, April 18th, from noon to 8PM ET, there will be an online event with speakers and presentations from politicians, artists, and activists such as Elizabeth Warren, Kyra Sedgwick, Rosdely Ciprian, and Marc Yaggi, exploring a variety of environmental issues.

On Monday, April 19th, the virtual march and rally, called “SC1.5NCE NOT SILENCE,” will take place in a 1990s-like virtual reality space created by Future Meets Present and Gather. Through an avatar, you will be able to visit booths, speak to exhibitors and other attendees, and, at 3PM ET, take part in a march and rally organized by March for Science NYC and Fridays for Future (the movement co-founded by Greta Thunberg).

You can attend by sending an RSVP via the EDI site.

Virtual 5K race

Virtual 5K race
Virtual 5K race
Image: WE ACT for Environmental Justice

If you’re a runner or a walker, WE ACT for Environmental Justice is holding a virtual 5K race, where participants will be encouraged to walk or run 5K during the week of Earth Day, April 17th through April 25th. So even if your normal exercise regime is a half-mile stroll, you can still take part. You can use the race to raise money for WE ACT — or not — but all registered participants are asked to donate either a set amount or an amount of their own choosing.

Artivism for Earth

Artivism for Earth
Artivism for Earth
Image: University of Utah

The University of Utah is planning to present a series of online performance events on April 22nd, most taking place at the campus’ Natural History Museum of Utah. The schedule will include a video mosaic, “four immersive performances, arranged under the classical elements: earth, air, water and fire,” a feature-length film exploring nature and humanity, a panel discussion, and a final program that features several different multimedia presentations.

The Year Earth Changed

The Year Earth Changed
The Year Earth Changed
Image: Apple TV Plus

If you’re a David Attenborough fan, you may want to catch his latest narrated special, The Year Earth Changed, a documentary about how the global human lockdown affected the non-human inhabitants of Earth — often in a positive way. The film will debut on Apple TV Plus today, April 16th; you can watch the trailer here.

National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve

National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve 2021
National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve 2021
Art: Cachetejack

If you want to head into Earth Day with a party, join National Geographic on April 21st at 8:30PM ET for its Earth Day Eve 2021 virtual celebration, with performances by artists such as Angélique Kidjo, Willie Nelson, Yo-Yo Ma, and Ziggy Marley, and appearances by a number of environmental activists such as Dr. Jane Goodall. You can join at the NatGeo website or at its YouTube channel — and afterward, continue with the music of Jayda G on the organization’s TikTok channel.