This Wednesday, April 22, is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate our collective support for environmental protection initiatives. This year, Earth Day feels especially poignant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One silver lining of the global health crisis is that pollution levels have plummeted world-wide due to billions of people staying home to prevent the spread of the virus. You may have seen the story on social media that people in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in decades because of reduced air pollution. That’s just one of many anecdotal examples right now that illustrate the potential for reducing our impact on the planet.

Every year, we so look forward to the annual Earth Day parade and fair in Downtown Bend hosted by the Environmental Center, and we are sad we won’t be able to share this special celebration with you, our community. Fortunately, many local, national and global organizations are providing inventive ways to celebrate Earth Day virtually:

  • No Earth Day costume parade this year in Bend? No problem. You can still create a colorful, DIY costume for the Earth Day Virtual Parade and submit a photo of it to the Environmental Center by April 25. The first 100 participants will receive a prize.
  • Participate in an Earth Day scavenger hunt, also hosted by the Environmental Center, using the GooseChase app available on both iPhone and Android. Find the instructions and a code for playing the Earth Day 2020 game here.
  • The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council has ideas for easy watershed education projects you can do with kids in your own back yard.
  • Encourage students who like making movies to participate in the Clean Water Works video contest hosted by the City of Bend. Here’s a link to last year’s winning videos made by kids!
  • Create a #MyPlanetMyPledge sign with a pledge you are making to ensure our planet is healthy, and then display your sign in your window. Snap a pic of your sign and post it on social media with the hashtag #MyPlanetMyPledge.
  • Want to help flood the world with messages of hope, optimism, and above all—action? Tune into Earth Day Live 2020 this Wednesday hosted by to contribute your voice.
  • The Smithsonian is hosting Earth Optimism 2020, a series of virtual events including round-table discussions and short films that will showcase stories of small and large-scale conservation efforts. Tune in April 22-26.
  • Follow @nasaearth on Facebook and Instagram to celebrate #EarthDayAtHome with NASA. With their live broadcasts on Wednesday, you can learn how our space program provides scientific research that helps us understand and improve our environment, watch a live Q&A with an astronaut on the space station, and even learn about a new interactive app that helps anyone from home contribute to coral reef mapping.
  • Take a small action in your home or yard and document it for your friends on social media with the hashtag #EarthDay.

These are just a few ways to celebrate Earth Day virtually from the comfort and safety of your home this Wednesday. We look forward to seeing your Earth Day thoughts, crafts and at-home activities on social media this week. Tag us @skjersaagroup to make sure we see your Earth Day love.