Earth Day Activism in the Time of Coronavirus

April 23, 2020

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day having just passed, what is usually a big day for climate activists, the streets remained empty. When one thinks of activism, they think of marches and protests, but in a time when it’s unsafe to leave one’s house, let alone gather with a bunch of people, how is activism happening? 

There is also the question of how this hiatus of physical contact will impact or slow down certain movements. With all of the media’s attention on the Coronavirus situation, there is very little airtime left for movements to gain the visibility that they need to stay relevant.  

According to a New York Times article, a lot of the activism has had to move online to social media platforms, which is easier said than done. One activist that the article quotes said that it has to go beyond just having a cool hashtag or video. The proposed techniques are either “Twitter protest,” where activists flood selected officials or “phone-banking,” which is similar but is done through phone calls rather than tweets. 

The Earth Day website called for “24 hours of action” and cited a lot of ways that people could still participate in activism without having to leave their homes. Some of these techniques were documenting and sharing your air quality, solo global cleanups, make your next meal plant-based, and share your #HopeForEarth. Though these techniques don’t fit into what is generally seen as large-scale activism, small actions can make a big difference!

However all of this ends, it is sure to change the face of activism.