This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and just like everything else in life, it will look much different due to the social restrictions imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But we can still do our part to make Earth Day 2020 memorable.
Domtar typically dedicates several days to special events that help raise sustainability awareness. Normally scheduled around April 22, the day designated as Earth Day, our companywide Earth Week activities and volunteer events are organized by our Earth Choice Ambassadors — members of our employee engagement program that promotes Domtar’s philanthropic focus areas of health and wellness, literacy and environmental sustainability.
Like many other events, Domtar’s Earth Week 2020 has been rescheduled for the fall. But even though we are practicing social distancing and doing our part to avoid spreading disease, we still are finding ways to care for our planet, our people and our communities this month.
You can, too. Here are some great ideas for conservation activities you can do while remaining safe during Earth Week 2020.
Small Efforts Create Big Results
Although social distancing measures, empty roads, quiet skies and shuttered businesses have been difficult for many people, the earth has actually benefited from the pandemic. There have been reports of plummeting pollution and improved visibility in big cities and wildlife returning to urban areas. If there is a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s that the earth is demonstrating its ability to heal itself.
But can we do more for our planet during Earth Week 2020? The Student Conservation Association offers these suggestions for socially distanced conservation activities:
- Create seed balls to scatter throughout your neighborhood.
- Plant a tree in your backyard.
- Reduce your energy use.
- Build a garden.
- Pick up trash while taking a walk.
For more ideas, visit the Student Conservation Association’s series of online activities that can help connect us to each other and the planet.
Caring for Our Planet Means Caring for People
International Earth Day typically focuses on finding ways to create a healthier planet. But for us, Earth Week also includes events focused on health, wellness and literacy in our communities. After all, caring for our planet means caring for the people on our planet.
During Earth Week 2020, we challenge you to find a way to care for people. Here are a few ways to help those in need during the pandemic:
Sew face masks: Domtar’s disaster relief partner, Good360, needs masks to distribute to families hardest hit by the pandemic. If you have a knack for sewing and are interested in supporting this organization, please contact Heather Stowe.
Donate books and school supplies: Millions of kids in low-income communities lack the books and supplies they need for online education. With schools, libraries and other resources closed, the need for books and school supplies has never been more urgent. If you would like to help, visit our literacy partner, First Book.
Write a letter: Find a senior center, memory care center or nursing home in your area, and let them know you’d like to create cards or write letters to their residents. Ask if there are any specific ways to make this time a little easier for those not able to have visitors.
Check in on your neighbors: If you have high-risk neighbors, call them to see how they’re faring. Offer to do some no-contact chores, like putting the trash out, getting the mail or mowing the lawn.
Encourage frontline workers: Send a note of encouragement to frontline workers, such as police officers, emergency medical technicians, hospital staff, postal workers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, etc.
While Earth Week 2020 will look different this year, we encourage everyone to find a special way to give back. Get the whole family involved! Be sure to tell us what you did for Earth Week 2020. Send a photo or post it on social media using the hashtag #DomtarVolunteers. Don’t forget to tag us @DomtarEveryday (Facebook) or @DomtarLife (Instagram).