April 22, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. As part of the earth-friendly effort to safeguard the environment, the City of Buffalo, and groups all over the world, are celebrating an entire week of earth-related activities thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Earth Day Network. Currently, approximately 193 countries take part in Earth Day activities.
The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action.
Earth Day 2020 will be one for the record books, there is no doubt. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the earth is healing in ways that no one could have imagined. Members of the Buffalo Flutterby Festival Facebook group have been busy posting examples of how the earth is healing, from veils of fog lifting from cities to unfettered turtle hatchings on distant shores. If there is any silver lining to this dreadful circumstance that we have found ourselves in, it’s got to be the lessons that the planet is teaching us. If only we could learn from these lessons…
Alternately, it will be interesting to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affects our planet in other ways. Just think of the increased amounts of Amazon packaging, and the massive amounts of medical waste that is being generated. Not to mention many companies putting plastic waste reduction efforts on hold.
That’s why it’s so important that we get onboard with the Earth Day message this year. While it’s much harder to coordinate outdoor relief efforts due to the virus, we can all be doing Earth Friendly activities at home, while thinking about how we will rise to the occasion when life returns to a sense of normalcy.
You can start doing this by going to the Earth Day website and taking the Earth Day Challenge, which invites everyone to choose ways that they can get directly involved. From conducting a plastic audit to Skyping a scientist, there are plenty of opportunities to participate. The website has also listed 30 “isolutions” that will help people to pass the time by embarking upon new activities from home.
Below are some of the ways that the City of Buffalo is encouraging residents to take part in Earth Week, starting Monday, April 20.
“Earth Day 2020 will be unlike any other in history,” said Mayor Brown. “The health and safety of participants and staff is our top concern and amid this COVID-19 outbreak, we developed an educational and responsible way for City of Buffalo residents and families to take part in Earth Day activities right in the safety of their own homes.”
Director of Refuse and Recycling Susan Attridge stated, “We really expect a lot of participation in this year’s virtual Earth Week Challenges. The best part about all of these activities is that so many of the tasks were designed to be things that our residents can do in the safety of their own homes. Even with the restrictions currently in place due to COVID-19, this is something that we feel most households, particularly our youth, can participate in and share with their teachers.”
Lead image: Photo by Dex Ezekiel