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Your Mass Audubon Earth Week Calendar

April 18 marks the beginning of Earth Week 2020. This year, activities have gone completely virtual so we can still safely convene around a common goal: Climate Action. If you don’t know where or how to start celebrating, we’ve compiled a Climate Action Calendar to guide your festivities. Download an interactive copy of the calendar.

Day 1, April 18:

Earth Day 2020 Boston Facebook Live Rally, 10 am–1 pm

Kick off Earth Week by joining Boston Earth Day’s Facebook live event. Throughout the day, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from various experts (such as City Councilor Michelle Wu and Mass Audubon’s very own Climate Change Program Director, Alexandra Vecchio), engage with others in the Massachusetts climate action community, and listen to some great music.

Day 2, April 19:

Take the Pledge to Vote, All Day

A consistent voter wields the power of voice. Mass Audubon and the Environmental Voter Project are working together to remind you to vote in each election. These simple reminders can dramatically increase someone’s likelihood of voting.

Day 3, April 20:

Mass Audubon Virtual Climate Café, 7–8:30 pm

Join Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary to discuss and engage in climate solutions. While we’re socially distancing, login and learn about the origins of Earth Day, find out more about greenwashing, and discover how you can be involved and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Registration is required. A link to the virtual cafe will be sent out approximately four hours in advance of the start time.

Day 4, April 21:

Electric Cars Are Greener Than You Think 12–1 pm

Join the Green Energy Consumer Alliance in discussing electric vehicles and climate change. Learn how clean electricity mixes, especially those implemented locally in towns and cities across Massachusetts, are guiding us towards a zero-carbon future.

ACE’s 6th Annual Earth Week Climate Teach-In, 1–2 pm

This is a great event for educators and their students that includes climate change trivia, Q&A with special guests, and climate curriculum in celebration of Earth Day.

Ask me Anything (AMA): Climate Change and Wetland Restoration – Submit Your Questions at 2 pm

Ever wonder about the mysterious, climate fighting power our local wetlands wield? Hop on over to @MassAudubon’s Instagram Story to submit your questions to Lauren Kras, Mass Audubon’s Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary Director. Lauren will answer the questions on April 23. *You must have an Instagram account to submit a question*

Day 5, April 22 (Earth Day):

Earth Day Youth Climate Strike: Day One, All Day

  • Day one of the three-day virtual youth climate strike begins with collective power, unity, and environmental justice through storytelling and community building. Strike with Us’ National Live Stream: Storytelling highlights the voices of people on the frontline of climate change, Indigenous, and POC (people of color) leaders. Register >

Eyewitness: Earth Day Storytelling Slam, 12–1:30 pm

Climate Generation’s live, national event aims to share personal experiences about climate change including stories, poems, and musical performances. 

Day 6, April 23:

Earth Day Youth Climate Strike Day Two, All Day

  • Today’s focus is fossil fuel divestment. At Strike with Us’ National Live Stream: Divest, participants can find out how corporations are investing in the climate crisis by investing in fossil fuels, and why stopping this is one of the most important ways we can address the climate emergency. Register >

Food and Agriculture Seminar, 9 am–12 pm

In partnership with Earth Day Network, We Don’t Have Time’s 2020 Climate Conference includes this international seminar on food and agriculture’s impact on climate change globally. Tune in to learn from speakers from the UN, Project Drawdown, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

AMA: Climate Change and Wetland Restoration, 2 pm

Lauren Kras, Mass Audubon’s Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary Director, is taking over our Instagram account to answer all YOUR questions about Climate Change and Wetland Restoration! Hop on over to @MassAudubon’s Instagram story to see these questions answered live. *You must have an Instagram account to view our story*

Day 7, April 24:

Earth Day Youth Climate Strike Day Three, All Day

  • The final day of striking focuses on the urgency of effecting political change through inspiring youth across the nation to register to vote. Participate in a digital, voter registration challenge to see which region of the country can register the most voters and call on elected officials to support advocacy. Register >
  • You can also join the Worcester Strike: Political Action, 12–1 pm and 7–8:30 pm

Birds, Bark, and Brews (21+), 4–5 pm

Raise a glass to mother nature while learning about the basics of birding and tree identification! Zoe Davis, Project Coordinator at Climate Ready Boston, will host Tree ID 101 and bring her extensive background in urban climate resilience planning, climate municipality preparedness, and land stewardship to the lesson.

Day 8, April 25:

Climate Hackathon, 9 am–12 pm

This isn’t a broadcast, it’s a hackathon! Working in small groups, hackathon-ers will explore communication, design, technology, and sustainability to work towards solving the climate crisis. You don’t have to be a computer programmer to participate.

Looking for other ways to engage this month?

Tune into our last AMA of April. Submit your questions about Climate Change and Urban Food Systems on April 28 at 2 pm on our Instagram for Nia Keith, Mass Audubon’s Statewide Climate Change Education Manager, to answer them on Thursday, April 30!

Celebrate Earth Month with Mass Audubon

For 50 years, the entire world has gathered on one day to celebrate our environment. Since 1970, Earth Day reminds us that we have the power to protect our planet and effect change. This year, Earth Day’s theme, climate action, urges us to once again use our voices and tackle the current climate crisis.

During the entire month of April, Mass Audubon is celebrating climate action in commemoration of Earth Day, April 22. Here are some tips on how you can join us:

Read a Book About Climate Change

If you’re suddenly finding yourself with much more time on your hands, sit back, relax, and read a good book about your world and climate change. Here are 12 books about climate solutions as inspiration for action and a source of hope.   

Reading can help us build connections to the world around us and understand how climate change impacts that world. Once you learn about the climate crisis through a good book, you might feel better equipped, maybe with new climate language, to communicate to your friends, family, and community why they should care about it.

Channel Learning Through Art

Artistic expression can combat feelings of anxiety or stress that come with dealing with the novel coronavirus. Take some time to get creative with your household: paint, draw, or color your favorite part of the environment or a special place that you love to visit.

After you’re done, do some research with your household and talk about how climate change affects the subject of your art. Then, draft a plan for what you can do to protect that subject together and start taking action.

Need ideas? Mass Audubon offers nature coloring pages that depict Massachusetts’ wildlife! Share your masterpieces and climate action plans with us by tagging @MassAudubon on social media. You can also email us.

Explore your Neighborhood (Safely!)

With spring’s warmer temperatures comes the desire to go outdoors. If you can do so while maintaining appropriate social distance and compliance with any public health advisories, take a walk or bike around your neighborhood. Getting into the habit of biking can inspire more eco-friendly methods of commuting to work once we return to the daily grind, providing a muscle-powered alternative to cars.

Additionally, Project Drawdown explains that going on walks around our neighborhood can provide us with insight about its infrastructure—namely, how “walkable” it is. In other words, your walk can help you determine if your neighborhood prioritizes safe, walking-based travel, or if you would need to depend on greenhouse gas emitting cars to get around. You can take these insights to your local, elected official to advocate for a more walkable community.

Join a Digital Group to Talk About Climate Change

It’s easy to start feeling isolated and disconnected while socially distancing, and it can be hard to find ways to talk about these feelings. Similarly, people may feel isolated when it comes to talking about climate change. A recent study indicated that over half of all Americans say they rarely or never talk about climate change with their friends and family.

Many have taken to the web to stay engaged with their friend groups and communities during COVID-19 through video calls or online forums. These very tools can also help address any anxiety or isolation you may feel talking about climate change.

For example, Mass Audubon has a Climate Action Facebook Group, where people can create friendships and community over a shared dedication to climate action. You can also join Mass Audubon’s Drawdown Ecochallenge team to fight climate change as a digital community. Community learning and discussion help make social distancing a little easier, while providing us with hubs for climate action.

Donate to Mass Audubon’s Climate Change Program

Mass Audubon’s Climate Action Program can only succeed with your help. Your support makes a difference in our collective fight for a livable planet. Our members, donors, and volunteers provide critical support to keep our climate action initiatives impactful and active.

From building a corps of climate action leaders at all ages, advocating for impacting climate policies, to protecting and stewarding the most important land, your support will help us realize our vision of a carbon neutral Massachusetts.

Start Celebrating

Earth Day’s 50th anniversary gives us the opportunity to engage in climate action close to home, while also building our collective power with others from both in our community and around the world. Social distancing has shown us that collective engagement is still possible and more important than ever. This month, join Mass Audubon for climate action, inspiration, and community!

Stay tuned: Earth Month is the perfect way for all of us to come together and celebrate community climate action. If you found these tips useful, stay tuned for an Earth Week Climate Action Calendar, full of even more actions, webinars, and events you can partake in!

Climate Action in Times of Social Distancing

We all know what it’s like to be stuck at home, socially distancing during COVID-19. There are only so many times you can binge your favorite show on Netflix or read your favorite book before you might start to feel a bit disconnected from the world.

If you’re feeling like this, we have good news. One of the ways Mass Audubon is celebrating Earth Day, April 22, COVID-19 edition, is by participating as a team in the month-long 2020 Drawdown Ecochallenge. The Drawdown Ecochallenge is a global competition that consists of a set of actions aimed at tackling our collective climate footprint to fight climate change.

With a dash of friendly competition, this Ecochallenge allows you to select certain actions, ranging in difficulty and frequency, that will help reduce the amount of carbon you emit. Each action you take contributes points towards the Mass Audubon team and allows you to gauge your impact real-time throughout the challenge.

The Ecochallenge allows us to still come together digitally as a community and stay connected with what’s happening to the environment around us. With plenty of actions we can complete while socially distancing, the Ecochallenge is just one of the ways we can celebrate Earth Week while keeping our communities safe and healthy.

Whether it’s taking a much needed, daily walk to check out the infrastructure of your neighborhood or doing some research on what makes seafood sustainable, the Drawdown Ecochallenge can bring us together to celebrate Earth Day’s 2020 theme, Climate Action, as a digital community and keep engaging with our environment in safe ways.

The challenge begins on April 1 and lasts until the end of the month, April 30. Join Mass Audubon’s team and get ready to tackle climate change together! Tag @MassAudubon in your #Ecochallenge photos for a chance to be shared on our social media platforms.

Volunteers planting a tree

This Earth Day, Be a Tree Hero

Tress are one of the best resources we have for fighting climate change. They help us manage the unavoidable effects of a warming world and help us avoid the unmanageable.

Trees

As we continue to see more dangerous heat waves, trees provide shade and cool relief. As storms grow stronger and more frequent, trees break the wind, soak up tremendous amounts of stormwater, and reduce erosion. Trees also slow climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

The value of trees goes far beyond fighting climate change. They provide habitat and food for wildlife. They improve air quality by filtering pollutants. Neighborhoods with more trees experience less crime. They make communities more pleasant, and they increase the value of nearby homes. People go to great lengths to keep living and working near beautiful trees and forests, helping build neighborhood connections as people continue to live near each other for longer.

Whether you live in your own home or rent an apartment, you can be a steward of trees. Here’s how:

Volunteers Planting a Tree

Plant Trees

Whenever you can, plant native trees that grow to be large and store carbon faster. Sweetgum, tulip poplar, oaks, and maples are good examples. If you own your own home and yard, plant trees especially on the west and southwest sides of your home where they can provide shade during the hottest time of day. If you live in an urban area, see what neighborhood groups plant trees and give them a hand.

Adopt Trees

Trees provide greater benefits as they mature and grow, so it’s important to help young trees survive through the first 3-5 years.

Especially during prolonged dry periods, help keep trees healthy by giving them a bucket of water in the evening. Living trees store carbon for a long time, but dead rotting wood releases carbon back into the atmosphere. Therefore, start with longer-lived trees, which hold their carbon longer, and native species, which are well adapted to local conditions.

Reduce Fossil Fuel Use in Tree Maintenance

If you’re already the proud owner or steward of trees, care for them with old-fashioned elbow grease. Gas-powered leaf blowers, mowers, and wood chippers, release carbon dioxide and pollutants, that offset some of the benefits provided by trees.

A Gift to Future Generations

Much of New England has been blessed with the foresight of our grandparents and their grandparents before them to re-establish trees and protect the landscape in perpetuity. We too can continue that New England tradition, and ensure that our grandchildren know the joy of playing beneath sprawling branches on a healthy planet.