By Faiza Zaman, Grace Watson, Nathan Chenkin, Alexandria Brooks, Greg Scharen, Lalita Martin, Kaitlyn Boylan and Michael Reina

This year April 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the world-wide event of environmental education and action. As a result of COVID-19, most activities have now gone virtual. 

For a directory of Earth Day events around the globe, provides a calendar and map of digital events – and invites anyone to add their own.  It also offers an excellent history of the earth day movement and plenty of environmental education activities that can be done at home.

Activists argue that even in the middle of a global pandemic, it is still critical to advocate for solutions to climate change.

“There are so many connections between the current crisis and the climate crisis,” said JoAnna Contarino, an organizer for New Jersey Student Sustainability Coalition. “We have seen how quickly trillions of dollars can be used during a crisis, and we are asking for this type of investment to fight climate change.”

Here in New Jersey, there are many ways you can participate in environmental workshops, education, activities, events and actions from your home.

New Jersey Area Events

Sustainable South Jersey is inviting you submit your own nature photos and then vote for your favorites.

#WeAreEarthDay50 is holding a series of online teach-ins for youth and student leaders interested in organizing campaigns for clean water and air, renewable energy, and policies outlined in the Green New Deal.

Rowan University’s Center for Responsible Leadership is broadcasting a virtual talk “Earth Day 50: Zero Landfill in Auto Manufacturing and National Parks” by Denise Coogan, Environmental Partnership Manager at Subaru of America, Inc.

Rutger’s University Cooperative Extension is hosting a weekly webinar series called “Earth Day at Home.” Each of 11 weekly, one-hour webinars will focus on steps anyone can take to protect the environment, such as Environmentally-Friendly Landscape Care, Creating a Wildlife Habitat in Your Yard, and Home Vegetable Gardening.

The Trailside Nature and Science Center in Union County is asking residents to take nature photos in their own backyard or neighborhood and email them so they can be posted online.

Dr. David Robinson of Rutgers University will be hosting a webinar seminar called “New Jersey’s Changing Climate” which will tackle the short term and long term effects of this issue along with offering solutions for individuals looking to help with monitoring climate conditions in their local region.

The Pinelands Adventures company has created virtual ways to explore the area, including sessions on Pine Barrens Fire Ecology and Tips for Successful Gardening. 

From April 18th to the 22nd The Northeast Earth Coalition is hosting a virtual celebration on Zoom showing short clips of environmental projects. They invite the public to submit their own 1 to 3-minute videos of the environmental projects they are working on. 

The Westfield Green Team has offered up a number of activities people can do at home this Earth Day, including ribbon making, watching documentaries, and more. 

Waterspirit Organization will be streaming their online Meditation for Earth session on their Youtube channel on April 21st. The organization advocates for providing access to safe, clean water and renewable resources for everyone.

The Adventure Aquarium in Camden will be doing an online Q&A session where their husbandry team will answer questions about coral and their current coral project

City Green, in Clifton, is hosting a four-day virtual Earth Day celebration with at-home activities, challenges, and resources so “your whole family can Speak Up! Vote! Educate! and Act!”

The Environmental Club at Rowan College at Burlington County is posting an Instagram video about the history of Earth Day 

Dharmachakra Buddhist Center in Vauxhall is hosting a free online public talk about interconnection and Buddhist views on global warming

Philly Green is hosting a networking event with digital speakers sharing stories that revolve around the Captain Planeteers theme of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart. Speakers include Judy Wicks (author and activist), Christine Knapp (Philadelphia Office of Sustainability), and Sabirah Mahmud (Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Climate Strike).

The BOMA Philadelphia Sustainability Committee is holding a coffee chat via Zoom for its members and city official affiliate members to discuss climate action.

The Run for Clean Air running event encourages participants to run their own virtual 3K, 5k, 10k between Saturday and April 26th with proceeds going to the council’s nonprofit fund for the mid-Atlantic region. 

On April 22, The Energy Co-op will hold a webinar on The Power of Cooperatives in Renewable Energy 

On Friday, April 24 ,there is a webinar on Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy, presented by the Philadelphia Energy Authority. 

On Monday, April 27, the Energy Co-op and Clean Air Council present a webinar on Renewable Natural Gas.

U.S. Events

NASA will be hosting a live broadcast on April 22 discussing green technologies and NASA’s impact on environmental studies. They will also showcase an interactive app to view coral reefs. They also have daily blog updates and social media posts about environmental projects and earth images.    

NASA is also organizing #EarthDayAtHome events throughout the day. If you’re missing sports and love the earth participate in their Terrestrial Tournament. The bracket style tournament will match up photos of the earth up against one another. Votes will show the winner on April 29, in honor of the 20th anniversary year of the Earth Observatory.

The Trinity Park Conservancy in Dallas, TX has been hosting events the entire month of April in order to raise awareness, bring people together, and create community and environment based information and events. This week’s events  include a documentary showing, virtual field trips, and free informative webinars.

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is hosting a virtual earth day with environmental educator Sue Pierre. 

“Singing the Planet – A Global Healing Event for Earth Day” encourages people to upload a song, poem, or prayer for acknowledging a planet that needs healing during the pandemic and uploaded on social media outlets.

This story is part of our participation in a statewide climate reporting collaboration with members of the NJ College News Commons, a network of campus media outlets working together to cover the climate crisis in New Jersey.