AUP at Home

Earth Day Goes Online

By Joseph Pearson

This Wednesday, April 22, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide celebration in support of environmental protections that aims to “flood the world with hope, optimism and action.” Throughout its history, the occasion has usually been marked by gatherings, protests, lectures and seminars, all aimed at increasing environmental awareness and solidarity for green issues positively and constructively. This year, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many of the in-person events have had to be reinvented in online forms. However, there are still many ways you can get involved in green projects to celebrate the 50-year milestone of this vital movement. 

The Earth Day website has a database of events and initiatives that take place throughout the day, including a map of local projects taking place across the world. On April 22, you can watch live throughout the day on the Earth Day Live stream, where celebrities, politicians and public figures – from Al Gore to Zac Efron – will be sharing messages in support of environmental protection worldwide. Tweet along with hashtags such as #EarthDayNetwork and #EarthDay2020. 

The Earth Day Network stays active throughout the year by encouraging projects such as the Earth Challenge 2020, a major citizens science initiative that occurs in parallel to Earth Day’s anniversary. It consists of a smartphone application that allows residents to indicate incidents of key environmental issues, such as plastic pollution, in their communities by uploading a photo and location. The data is then used to map the extent of various environmental concerns across the world. Why not download the app before you head out on your daily walk this Wednesday?

At AUP, the Undergraduate Student Council is hosting a week-long trivia session on Instagram Stories; you can follow along by visiting @aup_sga. On Earth Day itself, the SGA will showcase ways in which students are managing to benefit from the great outdoors, even while in confinement; post about how you are enjoying time outside and tag @aup_sga to take part. Throughout the week, the SGA will also be sharing book and film recommendations to keep you occupied during confinement and conducting a series of Instagram takeovers, including a tasty treat on Friday as the Vegan Club shares its best easy meals for quarantine. 

Earth Day 2020 is a global event, and universities, colleges and other institutions across the world are hosting their own busy event schedules. Here's an example: the University of Southern California, one of AUP's partner institutions, is hosting a variety of publicly accessible online talks. On Wednesday, there's a Facebook Live event with faculty from across USC who will discuss the problems imposed by climate change, the available solutions and the ways USC itself is rising to these challenges. You can find the full list of their proposed activities on the USC website

Let us know how you are marking Earth Day 2020 by contacting