Earth Day is right around the corner. We know what that means for the planet, but what does it mean for Buffalo and WNY? In order to answer that question, I clicked on the Earth Day map, to see what was going on around town. Lo and behold, what did I discover? Not a lot actually, which I found to be very surprising, and a bit unnerving.
There was only one event posted on the map – Restore Your Home-A Roadmap to Reduce Toxins in your Home that could be Causing Cancer. The 2-hour Zoom event is being co-hosted by my friend Therese “Tee” Forton-Barnes (The Green Living Gurus), who is always looking out for the best interests of Buffalonians.
“Why am I doing this event? I want to share my knowledge on ways to protect not only the environment but also our homes and health,” Tee told me. “There are too many chemicals polluting the earth and getting into our homes and bodies. I also want to help celebrate Earth Day to protect the planet.”
After talking to Tee about her event, I wondered why there were no other WNY events listed on the Earth Day map – surely there must be organizations, schools, businesses, and individuals that are panning other Earth Day events in the area?
As the world returns to normal, we can’t go back to business-as-usual.
Looking around the map, at other cities, I wanted to get a better understanding about what sorts of events other groups were registering. Here are some examples of what I found:
- Teachers will be teaching students about Earth Day
- The Four Seasons, a stage play written for the Zoom platform
- A Climate Commitment Challenge
- A virtual Earth Day Teach-In for Xerox colleagues around the world
- Clean & Green, Community Clean-up
- Zoom: Eliminating the Effects of Racism in Climate Activism
- Facebook Live film screening: The Green Connection Documentary Making A Change for Climate Change and Literacy
- Zoom: Make Every Tree Count: Celebrating Citizen-Led Conservation
- School clean-ups
- Earth Day Trails Events at parks
- Earth Stewardship Celebrations
- Farm visits
- Science Workshops: Earth Day Awareness
- River Trail Clean-ups
- Quilt fence show
- Earth Day Art Camp
- Film festivals
- Tree plantings
- Group bike rides
- Bird watching gatherings
- Sustainable fashion program
- Webinar: Fossil Fuel Divestment
- STEAM Storytime
- Panels, discussions, games, art shows…
As you can see, many of these events and undertakings are not complex or major lifts. Some of them are things that groups are already doing. Others simply interacting with others in nature. Some are being held virtually, due to the pandemic. The biggest takeaway is that all of these actions allow people to get involved with Earth Day in some manner.
“Why is it important to get your event listed? Communication is key and getting the word out is so valuable,” explained Tee. “It was very easy to get our event listed on the EarthDay.org website. They email you with a confirmation and help you make changes if you need to. We all live in this world together and we share the air, the ground, the water with one another. If we all communicate on why it is important to take care of the earth, we all can live a much healthier life. I learn everyday from others and I would love to know what else is happening during Earth Day week. If you can’t join an event you can still partake. It can be small activity like picking up litter or planting trees which makes our world a happier, healthier place to live.”
I believe that there are plenty of Earth Day events going on around WNY, especially now that we know how varied and wide-ranging these activities actually are. We’re not talking about huge festivals or 100-person organized cleanups (although those are nice too). We’re talking about the low-hanging fruit – grassroots undertakings that all contribute towards the bigger picture.
From April 20-22, join the world’s leaders for Earth Day 2021 – three days of climate action.
If you are planning an event, no matter how big or how small, please get the word out there by registering it on international Earth Day platform. Also, hopefully you are now inspired to create a small event that you can share with the world! Let’s show the planet that we care about its future – it’s a lot easier to do than we tend to think.
Now, let’s get started. Click here to learn more, and to register your Earth Day event.
The theme of Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth™.
Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, but registered events do not have to fall on that exact day. Once registered, each of the events will show up on the Earth Day map, along with days and times, as well as a description of the event, and links.
If you post an event on the map, be sure to send me an email to let me know what you’re up to. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To attend the Green Living Gurus event on Earth Day via Zoom, visit thegreenlivinggurus.com. Wednesday, April 21st @ 7PM.
You can also register for the event here.
Lead image: Delaware Park – photo by Kristine Hornung-Pottle