Really, is one day enough? The budding flowers, early morning choruses of birdsong, bright green tree canopies, and pleasant temperatures have many of us brimming with love for our planetary home. How have you observed Earth Day this year?

The Climate Action Team knew that one day would not suffice, so we planned events over a month to help us celebrate. We met with college students to talk about intergenerational activism. We began removing sod and installing a courtyard garden as part of the campus permaculture design plan made possible by the Carbon Offset Fund. We participated in UUCA’s Earth Day worship and displayed books available for check out through our expanding lending library. We will participate in the congregational retreat this weekend and host a poetry and photography showcase – Falling for Nature All Over Again – next week on Thursday, May 2 (details below!). We are enjoying observing Earth Month!

Before the temperatures begin feeling more like summer and before the news about trials or the Middle East or elections dampens your spring reverdie, we offer these bonus opportunities in several categories to help you save and savor the Earth. 

 

MAINSTREAM MEDIA: For Earth Day 2024, experts are spreading optimism – not doom. Here’s why.

There’s plenty to feel good about, some experts say: Huge strides towards fighting climate change, decades of work that have led to other environmental disasters being averted – and the reality that hope can help fuel the actions needed to keep tackling the climate crisis.

“People assume that in the 50 years since the first Earth Day we’ve made no progress. That we’re in a worse position now than we were in the 1970s, that there’s no point to environmental action,” said Hannah Ritchie, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who studies sustainability in relation to climate change.

Quite the opposite is true. Climate-friendly advances that would have seemed impossible even 10 years ago are now commonplace. And three times in the past 50 years humanity has faced – and fixed – massive, man-made global environmental issues.

Read more from USA Today.

 

NONPROFIT: Planet vs. Plastics

Earthday.org is unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040. Our theme, Planet vs. Plastics, calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, rapidly phase out all single use plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, and demand an end to fast fashion. Join us as we build a plastic-free planet for generations to come!

Learn more about Earthday.org’s Planet vs. Plastics campaign and take a second to sign the Global Plastics Treaty Petition.

 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: Investing to Fight Climate Change

Every year, addressing climate change becomes more urgent. The good news is, the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden in 2022 is the largest investment in climate action and clean energy in the history of the United States. Coupled with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that President Biden also signed, the Department of Energy has been supercharged with resources to support projects, research, and innovation to create clean energy here in America and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Take a minute to learn about the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, especially each lab’s special video created for this year’s Earth Day theme “Planet vs. Plastics,” as well as other videos about clean energy, climate change, and more.

 

HERE IN GEORGIA: Solutions to Drawdown Carbon

A changing climate makes bad things in our society and communities worse. Getting back to a healthy climate can improve more than just our planet’s health. Drawdown Georgia solutions impact our state’s economy, social inequities, public health, and the environment. Our solutions are market-ready and already happening in Georgia. From the peanut farmer who sold 1,400 acres of his farm for community solar, to an ambitious project to create the most sustainable highway in the world, Georgia is boldly innovating its way to a promising future.

Learn about the five areas Drawdown Georgia is addressing with innovative solutions.

 

RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER: Conserve the 4-0-Forest

This is a call to action for our 4-0-Forest! Evoking Atlanta’s oldest area code (404), Conserve the 4-0-Forest is a hometown shoutout of our love of trees through community action and forest restoration. Trees Atlanta and our volunteers work together to demonstrate the purpose and practical methods of removing invasive plant species that threaten the health of trees and our urban ecosystem.

The 2024 project schedule includes work at thirteen sites on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27. We’re working in greenspaces in Atlanta and Decatur to celebrate our community partners and the greenspaces we love. Trees Atlanta’s Forest Restoration team works in hundreds of acres of forested spaces across metro Atlanta each year. Every day could be Earth Day, and every urban forest can benefit from your attention and care.

Sign up to lend a hand at this Trees Atlanta volunteer event.

 

POETIC INSPIRATION: ​​“Our Purpose in Poetry: Or, Earthrise”

Amanda Gorman, the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, got rave reviews for her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” delivered at the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. She is also a compelling climate leader and shared this inspiring poem from the stage at Climate Reality Leadership Corps event several years ago.

Read the poem “Our Purpose in Poetry: Or, Earthrise” or watch the poet read it.

 

Everyone is invited to this concluding celebration of Earth Month. If you have a nature-inspired poem, bring it to share during the open mic!

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JOURNEY WITH US: The Climate Action Team is for you because, well, the planet needs your urgent action – and we need each other as we navigate these changing times. Learn all about the group here,  and check out our minutes and take action table, our lending library and the Carbon Offset Fund. You can also request to join the Climate Action Team on Realm. Contact Nicole Haines to connect to the CAT and join us for our next Zoom meeting on Monday, May 20, at 7:30 PM at this link. Please bring friends to the free poetry and photography showcase on May 2 in the social hall!