The Great Global Cleanup

5 takeaways from the Let’s Do It World Conference 2020

This past weekend, representatives from Earth Day Network and National Cleanup Day attended the Let’s Do It World Conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

The conference was an opportunity for Earth Day Network to strengthen its partnership with Let’s Do It World Network before the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020, and World Cleanup Day on September 19, 2020.

Below are five key takeaways from the conference.

1. Let’s Do It World Network and Earth Day Network signed a new agreement

Earth Day Network has been a proud partner of Let’s Do It World Network and their flagship cleanup project, World Cleanup Day, since 2018. After launching The Great Global Cleanup for Earth Day 2019 and in support of World Cleanup Day 2019, we needed a deeper collaboration that could elevate the impact of our partnership.

That’s why we signed a new agreement to reflect our mutual goals for 2020. Both organizations will mobilize their respective networks to allow individuals, partner organizations, businesses and governments volunteer year-round.

2. The Prime minister of Estonia called for us to #ActOnClimate every day

The first speaker of the conference did not disappoint: Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, a participant in World Cleanup Day 2019, congratulated Let’s Do It World Network on its most successful World Cleanup Day thus far — more than 20 million people across 180 countries and territories participated.

The prime minister also encouraged everyone to apply the spirit of World Cleanup Day to their daily lives. Prime Minister Ratas said that the time has come to “change our education about the environment, people, and the economy” so that our collective future will be bright.

3. Youth climate activism and children was a major theme

If 2019 was the year that youth climate activism skyrocketed to the forefront of the environmental movement, 2020 will be the year their dedication pays off.

In September, World Cleanup Day 2019 coincided with the youth climate strike’s biggest day of action – a clear indication that public appetite is growing not only for plant-based diets but for real and immediate climate action.

At the conference, marathon swimmer Ben Lecomte, most famous for swimming across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, spoke about his desire to leave a better planet for his two children. After he swam through the deluge of plastic pollution, his children joined him in San Francisco for the final stretch of his oceanic journey.

4. Cleanups engage with people of all ages and backgrounds

One of the beauties – or curses, rather – of our global waste problem is that it affects all of us (some more than others, unfortunately). Because our consumption and waste management choices know no boundaries, we can recruit volunteers from any background, age and country to participate in cleanups.

Throughout the conference, Let’s Do It World Network country leaders from Brazil to Kazakhstan had structured their cleanup campaigns to apply to everyone. For cleanups, you are never too old, too young or too busy to help the environment.

5. 2020 is going to be the most pivotal year for environmental action

This is our generation’s most important year for climate action. The year 2020 is bigger than any one person, organization or event. We must leverage our collective action to completely change the trajectory of our planet’s future.

But we can’t do it alone. The momentum from the 50th anniversary of Earth Day carries into World Cleanup Day 2020 and United Nations’ 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow at the end of the year. It’s now or never for climate action. Join the movement.

Credit for photo at top: Let’s Do It World Network