local virtual earth week activities

10 Local and Virtual Earth Week Activities for Remote Workers

Earth Day is a worldwide call to environmental action that is celebrated every year on April 22.  First celebrated in 1970, the day was originated in support of U.S. environmental protection efforts aimed at irresponsible corporate practices. Since then, Earth Day has grown into a worldwide event that even the pandemic couldn’t slow down. The 50th anniversary celebration in 2020 recorded 100 million participants worldwide, with many taking part in virtual Earth Week activities.

Earth Day Theme 2022

The theme driving this year’s local and virtual Earth Week activities is “Invest in Our Planet.” This theme reflects the recognition that it is possible to choose both a prosperous and a sustainable future. It is up to every one of us on this big blue ball — businesses, governments, and individuals — to do our part. Time is short and only by coming together can we preserve and protect our health, families, and livelihoods.

Participating as a Remote Worker in Virtual Earth Week Activities

Before the pandemic, most Earth Day activities for work and school involved in-person events such as clean-ups and educational seminars. If you were a remote worker, there were few ways to participate and feel included in the celebrations. However, thanks to the innovations introduced in 2020 to take events online and create projects that included isolated individuals and families, there are many more opportunities for remote workers and virtual companies to participate in virtual Earth Week activities.

Whether you participate on your own, with your family, or with your virtual coworkers, there are plenty of options for remote workers to participate in Earth Day 2022. Below are 10 fun and easy ways to participate and make a difference. These include both local and virtual earth week activities.

1. Ditch the Car

Research indicates that long commutes contribute to a host of environmental problems produced by vehicle emissions. As a remote worker, you can pat yourself on the back knowing that year-round you do your part to reduce vehicle emissions. However, an easy way to build on this progress is to try and go for the entire week (or at least the day) without using your car at all. Walk, bike, or use public transportation instead.   

2. Plan a Sustainable Vacation

One of the best ways to develop support and provide funding for conservation efforts is through eco-tourism. However, ensuring your vacation is environmentally sustainable involves more than just picking a destination. Sustainable tourism covers the complete tourism experience including transportation, accommodation, and respect for local cultures. As one of your Earth Day remote activities, take some time to plan a sustainable vacation. Start your planning by checking out this Sustainable Travel Checklist offered as a free download by Geoscientist, Daniela Daegele.

3. Participate in a Local Clean Up Event

One of the most satisfying Earth Day activities is to plan or take part in a local clean up. Check out the Great Global Cleanup webpage to find events near you or to register your own event. If you are a remote employee and are looking for Earth Day activities for work, consider creating a competition or a challenge to get other remote workers involved. Then, get to ridding your neighborhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails, and parks of plastic pollution and other forms of litter.

4. Become a Citizen Scientist

An exciting new way to participate in virtual Earth Week activities is to become a citizen scientist – no previous experience required! Citizen scientists are public volunteers that contribute to scientific research via remote technologies. One popular platform is the Global Earth Challenge that is currently collecting data to learn more about plastic pollution, air quality, insect declines, and food supply issues. To start, simply download their easy-to-use mobile application, read some simple instructions, and begin contributing by capturing photos and classifying data.

5. Attend a Virtual or In-Person Event

There are literally thousands of local and virtual Earth Week activities that involve presentations and discussions of current events and environmental priorities. Find one to attend or organize your own Earth Day activities for work. You can make these Earth Day remote activities or in-person events. One excellent example is the Earth Day Live event series that originated from the first virtual celebration of Earth Day in 2020. This series explores global environmental issues with presenters and panelists consisting of public and private sector leaders to activists, scientists, and influencers.

6. Calculate Your Environmental Foodprint

Conservation begins with awareness. It also begins at home. Make your participation in virtual Earth Week activities meaningful by calculating the effect that food choices have on the environment and identifying ways to reduce your impact. There are several different approaches to determine your foodprint, from comparing the carbon footprint of different meals to showing you how much water and carbon dioxide would be saved by reducing meat consumption.

7. Get Dirty & Plant Something

Of course, the most common Earth Day remote activities and one of the most fun is to get outside with a trowel and a few plants and get digging. Planting a tree or a new flower bed is an activity that be done individually, as part of Earth Day activities for work, or by participating in a local event. If you are organizing Earth Day activities for work, consider participating in the Canopy Project and plant trees with Earthday.org by emailing sponsorship@earthday.org.

8. Go Plogging

Plogging is the act of cleaning up trash while jogging or running. On your own, you can dedicate your daily exercise to improving the environment. You can also get your coworkers involved in virtual Earth Week activities by challenging them to participate and keeping a record of who picks up the most trash and how many miles they covered.

9. Tell a Nature Story

Much is made about the dangers of social media. However, this ubiquitous medium can also be used for good. Show your appreciation of nature and the environment by visiting your favorite outdoor spot, taking a few pictures and uploading to your favorite social media platform. Make sure to include a short story about why this spot is important to you and how it makes you feel. Be sure to use this year’s hashtag, #InvestInOurPlanet!

10. Make an Earth Day Resolution

One of the most impactful virtual Earth Week activities that you can undertake is to make an Earth Day resolution. While participating in a one-time event or week-long series of activities like those listed above is a worthwhile way to contribute, it is even more meaningful to implement changes that will last a lifetime. Try to identify one or more ways that you can change your behavior and benefit the planet over the longer term. A few examples include:

  • Switch to reusable grocery bags
  • Shop for local or organic produce
  • Reduce your energy consumption
  • Change your diet
  • Use your car one day less a week
  • Ditch plastic water bottles
  • Switch to paperless billing

Still not inspired?

Below are a few more ideas to get you started:

  • Sign an environmental petition.
  • Donate money to your favorite environmental cause.
  • Donate your used clothing and housewares.
  • Upcycle a thrift store or garage sale find.
  • Take an energy audit.
  • Install solar garden lights.
  • Take a hike.
  • Visit a zoo or aquarium.

A Last Word…

Regardless of how you decide to celebrate Earth Day this year, the most important thing is to do something! Find some way to mark the day and encourage your remote coworkers to do the same. Only by all of us coming together can we make a significant and lasting impact to preserve this planet that we all call home.

What are some of the ways you celebrate Earth Day and invest in our planet? Share your Earth Day stories with us! Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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