Earth Day has been celebrated annually ever since 1970, when it was first started in the USA by Gaylord Nelson. Nelson was a senator at the time, with hopes to spark a new wave of environmental activism through creating a day that honoured planet earth – and that’s exactly what happened.
Here we are in 2019, an era where trends and movements are primarily driven through social media platforms. Hence #EarthDay trended on Instagram and Twitter on Monday of this week, with influencers and everyday folk posting tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. International green organisations used the opportunity to disseminate important environmental information to the younger generations, using the hashtag to spread the word.
Here’s our take on the most inspiring posts and initiatives we found on social media this time round.
THINX released a special edition colour for #EarthDay
THINX, the innovative solution to sustainable periods, makes absorbent underwear for women to use as a substitute for sanitary products and tampons made with single-use plastic. Most tampons have applicators nowadays and menstrual pads are made from 90% plastic, so we’re not exactly having eco-friendly periods. To celebrate Earth Day 2019, THINX launched a new special edition colour of moisture-wicking underwear called ‘ocean’, encouraging their worldwide consumers to make a change and reduce their plastic footprint with some beautiful new pants.
The Planet or Plastic Test
National Geographic came up with a great way to engage millennials by constructing a mini, interactive quiz they called a ‘pledge’. By simply clicking on the link, you are confronted with the tip of an iceberg, before scrolling down the page to under sea level. Here, its vast size is revealed, to represent the sheer magnitude of the environmental question.
By answering a few short questions, the pledge encourages you to choose ‘planet or plastic’, telling you the exact amount of bottles/straws/coffee cups you could save from going to landfill by your own individual contribution. By confirming the pledge at the end, you feel as though you’re making a commitment to reduce your own plastic usage and are left feeling encouraged and certain that you are able to make a difference yourself.
Clothes shouldn’t cost the earth
Fashion Revolution is an Instagram account calling for greater transparency in the fashion industry, asking the question #Whomademyclothes? On Earth Day this year, they kicked off the week by signing the UNFCCC’s (UN branch of climate change) Fashion Industry Charter for global climate action. It’s an agreement that fashion brands, suppliers and retailers are signing, to urgently take action in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The post to over 200k followers pointed us to the importance of extending the lifecycle of garments, ideally by 9 months, to reduce carbon, waste, and water footprints by 20 - 30%. Our clothes shouldn’t cost the earth….
Make Earth Day a national holiday
Luxury outdoor wear company North Face decided to mark the occasion with a stand out Instagram post. Just three words in black and white indicated that they would be closing their doors on Earth Day, believing it should be a national holiday. Shops were shut as a form of protest and to raise awareness to the cause by declaring it to their nearly 4 million followers on the social media platform. North Face also stated that they had signed the earth day petition at earthdaypetition.org.