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Five Event Strategies You Can Borrow for Earth Day

By / Apr 17, 2017 (RomoloTavani/iStock)

Earth Day isn’t a new event by any means, but it is just around the corner on April 22. Here are five Earth Day events and ideas that could offer inspiration for keeping your own events fresh.

After the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Senator Gaylord Nelson helped establish the first Earth Day in 1970. What started as a grassroots environmental education movement has since transformed into a day of action. Today, more than 1 billion people and thousands of environmental groups across nearly 200 countries rally to celebrate the planet and protect its environment.

If you’re looking for a unique green hook to get your organization involved in Earth Day initiatives, find inspiration in these clever activities. You might even get some event ideas that have nothing to do with saving the planet.

Partner with a buzzy event like the March for Science. Individuals and groups in more than 400 cities across the globe will take a public stand and March for Science on April 22. Formed by a wide range of nonpartisan players and a coalition of organizations that support science, the marches are meant to advocate for “evidence-based policymaking, science education, research funding, and inclusive and accessible science,” according to the March for Science registration page. With some reports estimating 100,000 marchers in Washington, DC, alone, this Earth Day event is sure to get some attention.

Follow NASA’s lead with a marketing twist. NASA is celebrating Earth Day with its Adopt the Planet program, which invites people and groups to virtually adopt—and name—part of the planet. Select the piece of Earth you wish to adopt and gain access to the satellite resources and data that NASA scientists also use, from levels of carbon monoxide, relative humidity, sea ice, and more. Armed with the tools of scientists and the protective instincts of a parent, participants can learn more about Earth’s environmental conditions and the impact on their adopted part of the planet.

Create a community table for a waste-free feast, idea exchange. Host an Earth Day meal to exchange ideas with your group members over a waste-free feast. Plan your meal by sourcing local food and arranging to eat in a local green space such as a community garden. Evan Marks, founder of The Ecology Center, suggests forgoing paper plates and napkins and plastic utensils. Opt for cloth napkins, mason jars for glasses, and your own plates and cutlery, or pick up some affordable items from a consignment store. Once the scene is set, trade environmentally friendly efforts and program ideas, set up workshops, and more.

Engage with local leadership. In the ongoing Earth Day Network (EDN) campaign for communities to engage with mayors and local officials, this year’s Global Day of Conversation will focus on environmental and climate literacy. Meant as a platform for sustainability discussions between local and global leaders and their communities, this year’s conversations will highlight the importance of environmental education and “spur progress towards global environmental and climate literacy,” according to the EDN. Associations and groups hosting similar events can use EDN’s informational toolkits that are tailor-made for specific communities and audiences.

Partner with an existing promotion. It’s difficult to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy a discount. Look around for promotions or incentives that your group can partner with on Earth Day. For example, what about the national parks? Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate Earth Day’s 47th anniversary during National Park Week’s fee-free days, which include April 22. The park will host activities including games, a recycled art walk, and a litter pickup, and it will share information about local and national environmental initiatives.

Lisa Zimmermann

Lisa Zimmermann is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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