Earth Day 2015: Communicating Climate Change, Effectively

happy-earth-dayToday is International Earth Day, a day to celebrate our earth’s environment and raise public awareness about pollution and climate change.

The first Earth Day was in 1970. Nelson, after seeing the damage done by a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, was inspired to organize a national “teach-in” that focused on educating the public about the environment.

Today, Earth Day is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects.

Google has also rallied behind the day with its Earth Day quiz and interactive ‘Google Doodle’ on its homepage – check it out!

Google’s team behind the Doodle said: “Happy Earth Day to you today and everyday. We learned a lot about nature’s precious pals and interesting inhabitants in the process of making and taking this quiz and we hope you do, too!”

https://www.google.com.au/logos/doodles/2015/earth-day-2015-5638584300208128.3-hp.gif

More than a billion people participate in Earth Day campaigns each year – making it the largest civic event in the world.

Despite this, humans haven’t always taken good care of our planet. In the past 50 years, we’ve consumed more natural resources than in all previous history combined, according to Eco Cycle.

Scientists say it’s time we cleaned up our act. The message of Earth Day 2015 is that good stewardship is an agenda we can all get behind. Small changes can make a difference at a time when our planet needs a hand.

How can we help?

Earth day is the perfect day to get serious about issues which cause us concern for our environment.

As Earth Day is about encouraging people to remember to care for the environment, the organisation behind it urges people to do anything they can to help – from volunteering and installing solar panels on your roof, to organising you own event or just changing a habit.

“Earth Day is Every Day. To build a better future, we all must commit to protect our environment year-round,” the organisation reminds readers on its website.

One way to get the word across is by learning how to communicate about the effects and threat of climate change, effectively.

What is the most effective way to communicate climate change? That was the central question posed at Communication for Climate Change 2.0, a roundtable discussion featuring clean energy experts, nonprofit leaders and advocates, sociologists and climate scholars.

The answer?

Well, you look for stories. You look for stories of people banding together to make their communities more resilient. You look for examples of cities and countries developing, sustainably. As several members of the roundtable pointed out, these stories are out there, they just need to be told.

No single person can put an end to climate change. Rather, it takes a whole band of people to work together and take small yet positive steps in protecting our environment.

What are some small steps we can take?

Get a tee, plant 7 trees.

Save energy and money by living greener. Sustainability starts at home.

– Take ACTION and join the movement with A Billion Acts of Green.

– Watch The Untouched, remind yourself of the untouched beauty of this earth and the fragility of it.

– Sign the Climate Petition.

– Go to the Earth Day 2015 website and download your Leadership Toolkit.

– Take this quiz to calculate what kind of footprint you’re making on the earth!

– Become an Environmental Activist.

– Love to write? Volunteer to be a guest blogger for the Earth Day Blog.

– Have a spare $1? Join Jaden Smith and use it to plant a tree for The Canopy Project.

– Encourage schools in your community to go green in the Green Schools Campaign.

– Keep your Eyes Wide Open and examine the environmental challenges we face.

– Get behind Earth Day 2015 on social media! Use the hashtag #EarthDay2015 and share your photos and actions.

Let’s make the 45th Earth Day the most successful one yet!

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