Skip to content

Earth Day 2024: 22nd April: good news

  • by JW

“Sparking energy in young people can go a long way to addressing climate change now and in the near future.” [Bryce Coon, Earth Day’s director of education]


Today is Earth Day – and there have been a lot of fascinating news pieces published…

This year’s theme is Planet vs. Plastics – and today Oxford researchers comment on the plastic waste crisis:

“A change in the plastic system to comply with environmental targets is viable, but a significant reallocation of capital investment is required. Ambitious policies should prioritize reducing demand for fossil plastics, eliminating unnecessary plastic use, enhancing recycling infrastructure, catalyzing consumer behaviour change, fostering innovation, and securing financing. This presents a wealth of opportunities for research and business, particularly in developing sustainable and cost-effective solutions that will become the materials of the future.”

The organizers of Earth Day are also calling for widespread climate education as a critical step in the fight against climate change – with the Conversation today looking at how ‘green muscle memory’ and climate education promote behaviour change:

Refilling a reusable water bottle has become routine for many, and education can inspire similar large-scale behaviour shifts. A water bottle filling station in Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. (NPS Climate Change Response/Flickr)

new report, released in time for global attention for Earth Day on April 22, highlights the impact of climate education on promoting behaviour change in the next generation. Despite people’s deep connection to their local environment — whether it’s blackouts in Toronto caused by raccoons, communities gearing up for a total solar eclipse lasting only minutes, chasing northern lights or hundreds of Manitoba kids excited about ice fishing — there remains inertia in climate action. Sparking global momentum and energy in young people can go a long way to addressing climate change now and in the near future, says Bryce Coon, author of the report and Earth Day’s director of education.

And one way to get messages across and to try and effect behaviour change might be through sports clubs – as Arsenal looks to celebrating Earth Day by trialling a new way to provide information on the emissions related to their menus:

The system that we have used with My Emissions considers emissions associated with farming, including the use of the land, feed and fertilisers, the processing of the ingredients, packaging, and transportation. My Emissions are constantly looking to improve the data that is being used in the calculations, so we will be able to ensure the information we pass on is as accurate as possible.

Just as scientists/researchers, educators/schools and clubs/organisations can do their bit, so can business/enterprise – with Forbes reminding us that there is no Earth Day without private conservation. And yet Vogue today states why we’re not covering Earth Day:

At Vogue Business, we’ve been covering Earth Day from varying angles: the trend of “corporate hijacking” for one, and the problem, as we wrote in 2021, of making sustainability announcements without committing to wholesale change. We’ve also covered solutions: profiles of small, sustainability-centric brands that offer models other brands can follow; ways brands can communicate their efforts without sounding hollow or greenwashy; and how and why fashion needs to tackle its overproduction and overconsumption problem, which is arguably more important than improving singular aspects of the supply chain.

What news can you share from today? Certainly, many report today that the tide may finally be turning.