Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 14, No. 11, November 2018
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
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Strategy Document for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020

Earth Day Network

Originally published by
Earth Day Network, 21 September 2018




On the first Earth Day (April 22nd, 1970), 20 million Americans came together across social and political lines to demand a sustainable environment and give voice to an emerging consciousness about the health of the planet and its people. The first Earth Day made palpable that Americans demanded a healthy environment is vital to the wellbeing of our societies. The ensuing creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and approval of landmark environmental legislation inspired others around the world, and soon many countries built their own environmental protection systems. The quality of life of billions of people in the world has improved dramatically as a result of the first Earth Day.

Since 1970 the endeavor for social justice and human development has become inextricably linked to the protection of our environment and our climate. The work happening in many different fields of social change must incorporate the rapidly changing environment and climate as key factors for success.

Incredible goals have been achieved so far thanks to the tireless work and commitment of thousands of citizen sector organizations. Nevertheless, we all need the support and energy of large portions of the population to overcome the tremendous obstacles that we face today and collectively elevate environmental issues to the top of the political, social, and economic agendas.

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is a unique opportunity to create once again a catalytic moment that will advance real solutions to save our planet and protect it for future generations. We can all act together in 2020 to achieve collective system change and to increase our impact by joining the largest global mobilization for the environment since 1970. We can take bold steps to raise the bar for sustainability around the world and in our communities.

Earth Day 2020 will be about elevating science, promoting action and volunteerism on behalf of the environment, and expanding environmental education. The Earth Day 2020 S.A.V.E platform has been designed to facilitate global engagement at every level of society, appealing to people from all walks of life, regardless of their race, creed, culture, social status, or economic standing. The goal is to infuse people with a sense of purpose and possibility and enhance their ability to create meaningful change.

What can your institution do to take advantage of Earth Day 2020 as an unique opportunity to effect change?

  • Join the Earth Day 2020 celebrations in your country or city as a member of the Earth Day 2020 Partners Coalition.
  • Host events, forums, gathering, fairs, or open houses to engage with constituents on collectively identifying and finding solutions to local environmental issues.
  • Become a partner in the execution of EDN’s signature events for Earth Day 2020 (see below).
  • Amplify your actions and initiatives on behalf of the planet or launch new ones on April 22nd, 2020. EDN will highlight and share initiatives with its global network.
  • Commission public exhibits or art installations about local environmental issues and the impact of climate change.
  • Share information about the Earth Day 2020 opportunity with your network.
  • Design and execute a communications campaigns incorporating the themes of Earth Day 2020, joining in building a new narrative around what is needed to protect the planet, our species, and ourselves.
  • Engage your staff to actively participate in Earth Day events (including public education and outreach campaigns beforehand) and provide opportunities for them and their families to volunteer at or participate in Earth Day events in their city.
  • Provide opportunities, including transportation, for your constituencies, especially students and low-income and minority communities to participate in Earth Day events.
  • Any other ideas that you might want to explore with us.

Partners can join in the implementation of key signature events planned for April 2020:

  • Earth Challenge 2020: Citizen science enlists members of the public to help conduct scientific research to meet real-world goals. Earth Day Network (EDN), The U.S. world’s biggest ever coordinated citizen science campaign. EC2020 will collaborate with existing citizen science projects as well as build capacity for new ones as part of a larger effort to grow citizen science worldwide. EC2020 will become a nexus for collecting billions of data observations in areas including air quality, water quality, biodiversity, and human health to strengthen the links between science, the environment, and public citizens.
  • Marches and rallies: Earth Day Network will organize its signature rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C. with sister marches held in cities around the world organized and led by collectives in each city.
  • The Great Global Cleanup: the largest ever volunteer global effort will clean up communities, beaches, and waterways and engage people to End Plastic Pollution.
  • The Global Teach-In: Around the world, in classrooms and venues, both virtual and physical, Teach-Ins will be hosted to empower people as they learn about environmental and climate issues, and more importantly about the actions they can take to help. EDN will develop downloadable, customizable resources to be used by partners that will host the events.

Within the S.A.V.E. framework, there is also a bounty of opportunities for social organizations to use the platform of Earth Day to amplify their actions and initiatives or to launch new ones, in any of the following areas:

  • Citizen Science
  • Clean Energy and Transportation
  • Climate Action and Climate Justice
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Creating a Circular Economy
  • Creating a Non-Carbon Economy
  • Disaster Preparedness and Response
  • Ending Plastic Pollution and Zero Waste initiatives
  • Ensuring Clean Air and Clean Water
  • Environmental Certification Systems
  • Environmental Education and Literacy
  • Human and Environmental Health
  • Migration Crisis
  • Protecting and Improving Legislation
  • Reforestation and Protection of Forests and Trees
  • Species and Biodiversity Conservation
  • Stopping Industrial Pollution
  • Sustainability Plans for Cities
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sustainable Fisheries
  • Wellness
  • Any other field related to environmental protection or sustainability

Earth Day Network will feature and highlight the actions of all groups and individuals working on Earth Day activities leading up to, on, and after Earth Day 2020. There will be opportunities to co-brand campaigns and projects.

Contact Information - Valeria Merino, VP for Global Earth Day, Address: 1616 P Street, NW Washington DC 20036, USA.


The Earth Day Network's mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 50,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. We work through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns. For more information, visit the Earth Day Network website.

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"To see what is in front of one's nose
requires a constant struggle."

George Orwell (1903-1950)


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