- Annual event raises public awareness about environmental issues
- With the world in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, digital activities such as webinars and social media posts are being organised instead
As many countries have banned public gatherings due to the Covid-19 outbreak, environmental activists are marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by taking the conversation online. They are urging citizens from around the world to take action on climate change through photos, Tweets and digital campaigns.
The annual event, which falls on April 22 each year, is aimed at raising public awareness about environmental protection and to galvanise action globally. This year, for the first time in its history, it is going digital amid a health crisis that has resulted in the borders being shut in multiple countries, global lockdowns, and closures of public spaces.
According to the Earth Day website, there will be multiple “digital activities” that people can join remotely, with four such events taking place in Hong Kong.
These include a 24-hour webinar about sustainability hosted by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a seven day clean air challenge hosted by Clean Air Network, an online exhibition about Planet Earth hosted by The University of Hong Kong, and private Earth Day event hosted by the students of Malvern College.
Rosaryhill School student and green activist Ewan Windebank, who was an organiser of previous School March for Climate Action school strikes, had this to say about Earth Day going online. “Earth Day is all about awareness in the end, especially now that everyone is at home and probably having to use their appliances more, having people know how much can be saved by cracking a window or using reusable items could very well be enough to entice them to live more sustainable lives.
In March, teen climate activist, Greta Thunberg, called for a “digital strike” for upcoming Fridays for Future rallies, whereby students across the globe would skip school to demand stronger government action against the climate crisis.
She has been encouraging people to post a photo of themselves with a sign reading #ClimateStrikeOnline.
Earth Day events can be joined via their website here.