What's your plan for Earth Day? | Net Impact

What's your plan for Earth Day?

Happy Earth Day!
Happy Earth Day!

Last year, we asked you to think about Earth Day every day. Over the coming two weeks, we will continue that conversation by suggesting ways that both you and your company can make a difference-- not just on April 22 but on all 365 (or 366) days of the year. 

But first, what are you doing for #EarthDay2016? It will be the 46th Annual Earth Day since the event was founded in 1970 and the theme this year is #Trees4Earth. Earth Day Network set a worldwide goal to plant 7.8 billion trees over the next four years; yet with a current tally of about 3 million trees planted in 32 countries, a lot of work remains to be done. One quick way to make a difference is to donate directly to their Canopy Project. If you prefer the sweat equity method, however, gather some friends and start digging! 

If planting trees isn't your thing, that’s okay. The map below has loads of other options for events happening around the world during #EarthWeek. We've pulled a few favorites to highlight, including our own in-house upcycling challenge, so you really have no excuse but to act.

Fishackathon 2016

The UN is using the all-night, hyper-caffeinated, code-frenzy hackathon formula to solve issues surrounding the refugee crisis and, in similar fashion, the U.S State Department will soon host its third hackathon in hopes of revolutionizing the fishing industry. Originally launched in 2014 through Sec. John Kerry’s Our Ocean Conference, this year’s event is taking place over Earth Day weekend, April 22-24. The goal is to find innovative ways to collect and analyze data, as well as find solutions for unsustainable fishing practices. In 43 cities across the world, volunteers will #codeforfish for three straight days as they try to hack problems presented by international fish industry experts; however anyone anywhere with an internet connection can opt into the virtual participation mode. Each host site will select a winning team and an expert panel of judges will pick a global winner to be announced on World Oceans Day on June 8, 2016.

You can view last year’s Fishackathon submissions here, including the two winners-- one for the Grand Prize and the other for the People’s Choice Award. Or even better: register for the event yourself!

The big, green apple

If you’re in or around NYC, go to one (or all) of these conferences at the New School’s series of Earth Week programming. Starting Monday at 9am, they’ll be talking about green jobs, sustainability, environmental and social justice, and urban resiliency. They’ll be grieving what’s happening to our planet and promising solidarity to stop it from getting worse. It’s going to be informative, life-changing and it’s going to be free! 

Solving all the world’s problems in two days

If you’re in or around DC, go to Planet Forward's Summit on Sustainable Cities, a two-day conference that will discuss, then tackle, issues surrounding the sustainability of our cities. Community leaders, journalists, members of academia, students and entrepreneurs will come together to look at problems, discuss obstacles to solving those problems and ultimately, figure out ways to get around those obstacles and make big changes for the future. It’s free! Just make sure you register on the website. 

One man’s trash…

Did you hear about the Net Impact Earth Day Challenge? We’re calling on all chapters to compete against Team Net Impact Central in the upcycling arena. Take those old cans, corks, coffee cups and wire whisks, and turn them into something beautiful or useful, or both! We’ve given you a few ideas on our Pinterest board. Email your submissions (in photo and/or video format) to chapters@netimpact.org, and if you post anything to your own Pinterest page, make sure to tag it with #earthdayNI. Winners will be crowned Earth Day Challenge Champions, and we’ll brag about you across all of our social media channels, too, of course.

Start your own event!

You’ve almost reached the end of this post. If you still haven’t seen anything to sign up to do on April 22, maybe you should just start your own event. No, really; it’s not too late to organize a tree-planting committee in your neighborhood or a trash-collecting team on a nearby shoreline. The Earth Day Network created this online toolkit to make it pretty easy to plan something. Once you have the details arranged, you can register with them and they’ll give you a pin on the map at the top of this page! Because let’s be honest: you know you’ve always wanted to be world famous.

So go on. Do it! Do something! And tell us all about it in the comments section below.