Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22nd, devoted to demonstrating support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, the day now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries. At Salesforce, we are committed to building a more sustainable future for all. With that ethos in mind, and given the current shelter in place restrictions, we turned to some of our earth-protecting nonprofit trailblazers to get some ideas on how to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic holiday at home.
Swim With Sharks
What better way to appreciate nature than to get up close and personal (well, virtually) with some fascinating sea life? The National Aquarium in Baltimore has livestreams of three of their exhibits, including Blacktip Reef, Pacific Coral Reef and Jellyfish! You can also interact directly with the aquarium staff and learn more about the natural world on their Instagram, where they host weekly Q&As with experts. Check out the Aquarium’s Facebook page, where they go live weekly from different exhibit areas and include some interactive feedings and enrichment with the staff caring for the animals.
Hug A Tree
The Morton Arboretum, a 1,700-acre living museum, champions trees throughout the world through scientific study, conservation, and advocacy. Their team is helping people stay connected to trees and nature this Earth Day through an array of online learning resources for all ages. Its Learning in Place offerings include educational materials for teachers and parents, self-exploration ideas for families, resources for students curious about STEM, and programs for lifelong learners and gardeners. One activity they offer for the whole family is self-guided family exploration. While on a social distancing walk, you can observe nature and gather materials to create your very own natural art piece. “More people are recognizing the many benefits of connecting with trees and nature during this difficult time,” said Preston Bautista, Vice President of Learning and Engagement. “While the Arboretum is temporarily closed, we are able to continue to be part of personal learning and wellness journeys through online programs, and virtual video tours and information on the Arboretum’s website and social media channels.”
Get Wild With Remote Learning
The Wildlife Conservation Society uses cutting-edge science to understand the impacts of climate change on wildlife and natural resources, plans conservation for a rapidly changing world, and implements on-the-ground solutions to protect ecosystems. Their Education Team provides live and interactive educational programs for students from Pre-K to 8th grade. Featuring activities ranging from puppet shows to scientific observation, and covering natural wonders like the rainforest and the depths of the ocean, Wildlife School Online teaches students about science and the natural world–right from the computer. Each program is facilitated by a Conservation Educator and features grade-appropriate interactive activities, unique content, and Q&A time for curious students.
All age groups are invited to get up close and personal with the Bronx Zoo’s animals at their virtual zoo. “At WCS, our mission is to discover, understand, and protect the earth’s wild places and the wildlife that rely on them. We’re committed to the future of these intact and biodiverse bastions for wildlife of all sizes,” says Debbie Schneiderman, Executive Director, Membership & Digital. “We’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with the sights and sounds of our NYC zoos and aquarium, including lemurs, sea lions, sharks and more. Tune in and turn your volume up to virtually visit the wildlife you love.”
Become a Citizen Scientist
While the Chicago Botanic Garden may be closed, that is not stopping them from celebrating Earth Day by providing plenty of conservation tips and tricks. Learn more about everything from education by their plant conservation scientists to eco-friendly tips for your own home. For budding scientists, join Budburst where you can create a free account, monitor and learn about plants, and contribute your own valuable observations.
Get Involved And Give Back
While education is no doubt a great way to foster the conservationist in all of us, we can also contribute to a better planet this Earth Day by giving back. A few ways to benefit the environment from home include switching all of your bills to e-bills and online invoices, calling or emailing your representative urging them to address environmental issues in their plan of action, and supporting an environmental organization financially. Finally, do not forget that while Earth Day is just once a year, every day is a good one to be engaged in protecting our planet.
Learn more about how Salesforce is celebrating Earth Month to give back to people and the planet.
About the Author
Amelia Cady is an Associate Manager, Nonprofit Customer Marketing and Events at Salesforce.org. With prior experience in philanthropy and an education in social welfare, she is passionate about how technology can be used to enable nonprofits to thrive and provide more opportunities for all people.