April 22, 2020

Celebrate Earth Day today with Digital Earth Day Activities

In the face of challenges requiring us to stay apart, Earth Day 2020 brings us together
Gardening is a fun Earth Day activity.
Gardening is a fun Earth Day activity. Adrian Shellard

If there is anything that COVID-19 has shown us, it’s that we are all connected. Events in far-away places have ripple effects, transforming global issues into local in the blink of an eye. As some aspects of life screech to a halt, opportunities for growth and reflection arise, prompting us to ask ourselves: “How can we make our world a better place to live, both for present and future generations?”

With this question in mind, it’s important to recognize the power of individual action as a force for collective change. We have a shared responsibility to care for not only ourselves, but also for the planet we call home. 

Today marks the 50th annual Earth Day celebration. On April 22, 1970, 20 million people came together for the first-ever Earth Day, marking what many view today as the beginning of the modern sustainability movement. On that day, citizens took to the streets to protest environmental degradation and advocate for a better future for our planet. Today, Earth Day has grown into one of the planet’s largest civic events.

For the past 11 years, UCalgary has celebrated Earth Day with an annual Campus Cleanup and BBQ hosted by Facilities. Last year’s event drew 270 individuals — a record-breaking amount. While the Campus Cleanup will not take place this year due to COVID-19, Facilities and the Office of Sustainability are launching our first-ever Digital Earth Day Challenge in its place.

#UCalgaryEarthDay2020 Activity Steps

  1. Choose one (or more) Earth Day activity. Some ideas are listed below but activities are not restricted to those listed, so get creative. Please ensure your activity of choice complies with all COVID-19 Prevention and Risk Recommendations provided by the Government of Canada.
  2. Take a picture of you or your isolation-buddies completing the activity. (Note: No person has to be in the photo as long as it shows an activity being completed.)
  3. Post the picture(s) to your Facebook or Instagram page using the hashtag #UCalgaryEarthDay2020 or email it to sustain@ucalgary.ca.

10 COVID-19 Friendly Earth Day Activity Ideas

  1. Become an advocate for sustainability at UCalgary. The Office of Sustainability offers a number of options for students, faculty and staff to get involved. Enhance your campus experience by browsing our sustainability programs, following us on Facebook and Instagram, or taking a few minutes to complete the UCalgary Transportation Survey.
  2. Browse the 22 Days of Earth Day activity guide. 
  3. Check out Green Calgary’s Green Guides for awesome tips on green cleaning, how to green your home, reduce food waste, conserve water, harvest rainwater and much more. 
  4. Create a pollinator-friendly garden.
  5. Do a Green Calgary Kids Home School Activity or Turning Green Classroom with your little ones.
  6. Educate yourself (and your housemates) by reading a sustainability-related book or watching a show. From The Lorax and Wall-E to Plastic Ocean, Planet Earth, Our Planet or the Earth Month Collection on Disney+, there are plenty of options out there. If you don’t have access to a streaming service or television, explore the Calgary Public Library’s free digital resources online.
  7. Join EARTHRISE’s 24 hours of “global digital mobilization”.
  8. Take a look at the United Nations’ Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World and choose any activities from Level 1 – Sofa Superstar or Level 2 – Household Hero.
  9. Tune into the Happiness and Sustainability Around the Earth webinar presented by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network or the Solve Climate by 2030 Virtual Teach-ins on Climate Solutions and Justice presented by the Centre for Environmental Policy.
  10. Use one of Earth Day’s 2020 toolkits to host a digital teach-in call. Topics include plastic pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, food sustainability, air quality, water quality and more. Or, check out 30 “Isolutions” for Coronavirus self-isolation.  

Share your Earth Day activity photo(s) to your Facebook, Instagram, or email sustain@ucalgary.ca with the #UCalgaryEarthDay2020 by April 24, 2020 for a chance to be recognized as an Earth Day Hero on the UCalgary Sustainability Facebook and Instagram channels.

The University of Calgary’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy provides a road map for continuous improvement in our pursuit of excellence and leadership in sustainability. We aim to become a Canadian post-secondary education leader in sustainability in our academic and engagement programs, administrative and operational practices and through supporting community and industry in their aims for leadership in sustainability. Learn more about UCalgary’s leadership in sustainability.


UCalgary resources on COVID-19

For the most up-to-date information about the University of Calgary's response to the spread of COVID-19, visit the UCalgary COVID-19 Response website.