Fifty years ago, 10 million Americans took to the streets to advocate for our planet, setting into motion the first official Earth Day ever. Thanks to those protestors, key environmental regulations and groups such as the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) exist today.
Over the years, Earth Day has become a global movement. With individuals like Al Gore and Greta Thunberg helping to bring climate issues into the spotlight, environmental protection has not only risen to the forefront of political agendas but has also entered into our mainstream consciousness, influencing our daily habits and decisions. Cliché as it may be, the mantra “every day is earth day” has gained popularity for good reason.
One of the great challenges of our climate fight is that it is that the effects of climate change can go largely undetected in our everyday lives. We might hear of the ozone layer shrinking, the ice caps melting, and CO2 levels rising, but many of us do not notice these potentially catastrophic changes in our day to day lives. It can, therefore, be hard to spawn individuals to take meaningful action. The other challenge is that, for those who do take action, it can be hard to feel like your individual efforts are actually making a difference.
For this reason, climate movements have largely utilized highly visible, public demonstrations as a means of drawing attention to the unseen effects and creating a sense of togetherness and unity around taking action. As part of the September 2019 “Global Climate Strike” alone, over 10 million individuals took to the streets all around the world and showed their support for the planet on social media platforms.
This year, due to social distancing and quarantine mandates put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Earth Day looked a little different. Nonetheless, people showed up in droves to virtual earth day celebrations and showed their support on social media.
During our third week of the BlueWave Challenge, which fell during our sixth week working remotely, we challenged our online community and our team of BlueWavers to take action to protect our climate–from the safety of their homes. Turns out, our team is not only mission-driven but also wildly creative.
Here’s a rundown of the actions taken by BlueWavers over our 3 Week BlueWave Challenge, we hope this list inspires you.
50 ways BlueWavers Took Action to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
Week 1: Greening our WFH
- Signed up for compost service
- Powered a laptop using solar power
- Used natural light instead of electric lights
- Created home composting station
- Opted out of plastic packaging with Amazon
- Cold washed laundry
- Hand-washed laundry in the tub!
- Shortened shower time
- Bought reusable diapers
- Unplugged all of our vampires
- Upcycled old wood to make an ax-throwing station
- Donated to food banks
- Used ThredUp and SecondChances to donate our clothing
- Taught housemates proper recycling
- Signed up for Terracycle to recycle the “unrecyclable”
- Used reusable cloth rags to clean dishes
- Signed up for community solar
Week 2: Reducing Our Foodprint
- Made vegan breakfasts
- Picked a meatless day of the week
- Made a mini-greenhouse of our an upcycled mattress bag
- Started home garden in a recycled egg carton
- Grew windowsill herbs
- Turned stale bread into croutons
- Regrew garlic, carrot, & onions from scraps
- Made vegetable stock out of veggie scraps
- Picked up seeds on craigslist
- Spent time harvesting the family farm
- Re-purposed orange peels for marmalade & baking
- Got parents to sign up for food delivery
- Rehydrated chickpeas to make aquafaba for vegan baking
- Started a batch of alfalfa sprouts and mung bean sprouts in a mason jar
- Created segmented composting
- Grew our own basil for homemade pesto
- Regrew carrots from the garden
- Signed up for a local CSA
- Shared tips on in-season produce
- Attended a webinar on BlueWave’s dual-use solar development
- Signed up for local food delivery
Week 3: Taking Climate Action
- Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5 to 10 different organizations
- Attended a virtual earth day event
- Watched environmental documentary
- Followed a climate change meme account
- Read, wrote, and shared environmental poetry
- Made (& watched) an Earth Day music video
- Picked up trash in streets
- Tuned into a climate change webinar series from the Environmental League of MA
- Hosted webinar on sustainable land management practices
- Signed up for Terracycle
- Shared nature appreciation post on Instagram
- Worked for a mission-driven solar company
Earth Day may have passed, but our fight to protect the planet is still happening every day. Let's take action together!