Climate activists celebrate Earth Day digitally

Celebrating the outside from inside

For+the+first+day+of+Remote+Earth+Week+2020%2C+Sacramento+residents+participated+by+decorating+their+houses%2C+driveways+and+sidewalks+with+messages+of+hope+for+the+%22chalking%22+celebration+on+April+22%2C+2020.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Cesar+Julian+Aguirre%29

For the first day of Remote Earth Week 2020, Sacramento residents participated by decorating their houses, driveways and sidewalks with messages of hope for the “chalking” celebration on April 22, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Cesar Julian Aguirre)

Oden Taylor, News Editor

In the late ‘60s, as a result of industrialization, the harmful effects of human interference with nature became increasingly clear, with skies full of pollution and natural waterways so full of garbage and oil that they caught fire.    

This gave rise to many environmental activists who saw the desperate need for change and formed the first-ever climate protest which would later be named Earth Day. 

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day occurred on April 22, however, due to the “stay at home” order caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Day events in Sacramento and across the globe were canceled.

Sacramento’s largest annual Earth Day event, the Sacramento Earth Day Celebration scheduled to take place on April 26 in Southside Park, has been canceled as well and will pick back up next year on April 25, 2021, in the same location.

To celebrate Earth Day while also practicing social distancing, the Environmental Council of Sacramento is holding “Remote Earth Week 2020,” which continues through April 24.   

“As a movement based on science, we take recommendations from public health professionals seriously. Evidence shows that social distancing works to slow the spread of coronavirus,” the Environmental Council of Sacramento’s website says. “We are proud of our quick adaptation to current circumstances and pleased to offer impactful programming for such a historic day.”

While all in-person events were canceled many activists celebrated Earth Day at home by participating in day one of Remote Earth Week by decorating their houses, driveways and sidewalks during a citywide “chalking” celebration in which people used chalk to write and draw messages of hope and call for climate change reform.  

On April 23, the council will hold a fundraiser to raise money for COVID-19 aid efforts that will benefit the Services Not Sweeps Coalition, members of which include Loaves and Fishes, Sacramento Food Bank, and the Poor People’s Campaign.   

“In recognition of the challenges facing the Sacramento community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, local climate justice organizations will raise money through an online silent auction, virtual ‘tip jars’, and other calls for donations,” the website says. 

For information on how to donate or participate in the silent auction contact Chris Brown at  916-384-7476 or by emailing [email protected].

Earth Day Live Sacramento, the final day of Remote Earth Week, will be digitally celebrated on April 24 with a 12-hour-long livestream event beginning at 12 p.m. and ending at 12 a.m. The livestream will also include a virtual town hall meeting featuring a Question & Answer with Councilmember-elect Katie Valenzuela among other local leaders.   

“This event will be centered around the twin crises of climate change and COVID-19. It will provide education, political engagement, entertainment, and community-based responses to the anxiety caused by the coronavirus,” according to the Environmental Council’s website.  

For more details, including how to watch the livestream, visit actionnetwork.org, or click the link here at https://actionnetwork.org/events/earth-day-live-sacramento.