Right now it’s more important than ever for parents to show their children how amazing the world is. That’s why, to celebrate Earth Day, NatGeo@Home is “hosting” neighborhood safaris to inspire everyone to engage as a family to explore the planet through its amazing animals.
This year’s Earth Day is a special one, and not just because it’s the 50th anniversary of the event.
With stay home orders and heavy social distancing recommendations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual large gatherings of people to show support, clear trash and do more to help the planet just aren’t plausible.
But that hasn’t entirely stopped festivities being organized for April 22, and numerous organizations have arranged for ways people can engage with Earth Day without compromising safety.
Instead of feeling gratitude and oneness with the planet this Earth Day, you may be feeling far darker emotions. Not just because of our abnormal existence during a pandemic, but also from a fear that more disruptive events are on the horizon due to climate change.
For some, feelings of sadness about the state of the planet aren’t new — they’re constant and at times debilitating. This experience goes by many names, among them eco-anxiety, climate grief and climate despair.
A movement has begun to help people face these feelings — and build resilience so they can stay engaged with the work of fighting the climate crisis.
We spoke to psychologists and climate activists about their approaches to processing climate grief — it turns out these tools are useful for dealing with any kind of wide scale upheaval, including life during a pandemic. Here’s a road map.
It’s Earth Day again, and this one is both special and a bit strange. Special because this is the 50th anniversary of the original, and there are a gazillion commemorations and events going on around the world. Strange because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced most of them to move online.
Since its invention and widespread introduction into the economy some 70 years ago, plastic has become a valuable part of business and daily life. So much so, in fact, that we have created more than 8.3 billion metric tons of it around the world. If we were able to take all of that plastic and turn it into a single grocery bag, it could hold the entire planet. If business continues as usual, 30 years from now projections say we will have produced enough plastic waste to double-bag the Earth.
The problem is that more than 76% of all plastic has ended up as waste, and nearly 50% of the plastic waste we now produce each year is used just once, often only for a few minutes. In the time it takes you to read this article, about 5 million single-use plastic bottles will be discarded. The single-use packaging that we throw away each year represents $100 billion of economic value. That’s a figure worth paying attention to: Recouping those losses and developing solutions to preventing plastic waste more broadly could amount to a trillion-dollar opportunity.
It’s time for members of the C-suite to embrace that opportunity, especially because plastic is more pervasive across our global economy than just about any other manufactured substance. From basic chemicals to high tech, from heavy industry to fast fashion, and from agricultural commodities to lifestyle brands — virtually every industry has plastic as an integral part of its products, supply chain, distribution, and customer interactions. For virtually every business leader, reducing plastic waste represents a strategic business opportunity.
We’ve identified five clear benefits that reducing plastic waste can deliver to businesses, whether your remit is innovation, operations, finance, risk, growth, or brand.
On April 20, 2020, Texas Tech climate expert and Illinois alumna Katharine Hayhoe delivered the 2020 Charles David Keeling Lecture for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her talk, titled “Climate Science in a Fact-Free World,” was sponsored by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and iSEE. More than 260 people attended the “zero carbon” lecture online.