EARTHDAY.ORG STORIES

EARTHDAY.ORG operates in over 190 countries to drive transformative change for our planet. Read a few of those stories here.

IRAQ

Sustainable School Network

Together to Protect Human and the Environment Association

Earth Day Partner

Together to Protect Human and the Environment Association has done tremendous efforts to Restore Our Earth and to emphasize the importance of climate literacy. They have trained 188 students on the topic of integrating the concept of sustainable development into education and established a sustainable schools’ network (including 32 schools) in Nineveh Governorate. They have also distributed around 2,442 seedlings of tangerine, orange, lemon, didonia, cypress, calptose, Washingtonia, Albizia and olive plants in Nineveh and established educational clubs for children on environmental protection and awareness.


PAKISTAN

Decorate Nature With Green

Volunteer Youth Organization

Earth Day Partner
Group of girls holding climate signs
Group of students holding climate signs, including a sign that says, “Decorate nature with green, plant trees”

Together with our partner, Volunteer Youth Organization, we organized a campaign to plant trees to Restore Our Earth. We organized an event in Read Foundation School in the Hattian District of Aazd Kashmir to raise awareness and distribute 300 plants among students. They were motivated to plant a tree and contribute to Restoring Our Earth. 15 volunteers from Volunteer Youth Organization also participated in the event and the Divisional Forest Officer gave a demo to students on how to plant the trees.


TANZANIA

Volunteer for the Earth

Zuhura Ahmad

My Future My Voice Ambassador and Earth Day Volunteer
Portrait of Zuhura Ahmad

I am Zuhura Ahmad, a graduate of education with science (chemistry and biology). I have had a strong passion for environmental conservation since then, and people used to call me Mama Mazingira, or Mother Environment. I know my story is just starting, probably at its very earliest stage, but I love conservation of the environment because the environment is life (meaning that we owe our lives to the environment). One of the most important things I have learned from my Leader is, “Volunteering is the only way that people will see your capacity and takes you to the next level.”

My enthusiasm started when I was at high school, where I volunteered for environmental activities like cleanups and tree plantings under the United Nation Club. After high school at the end of 2017, I got a chance to go to university, where I met and connected with people who shared my passion for the environment. I was sure to collaborate with them in my activism.

First and foremost, I joined environmental WhatsApp groups for the Tanzania Environmental Chamber and environmental conservation and wildlife enterprises groups, where I got updates about environmental activities. From there, I actively participated in every project for Environmental Watch Association Tanzania. I was then assigned as a volunteer coordinator of Tanzania Youth Biodiversity Network Club at Sua, where I worked with leaders of different youth organizations and volunteer students to keep the momentum going to the next level. I also got a chance to be a volunteer for EARTHDAY.ORG and I was sure to provide strong support to other volunteers and leaders in different projects of climate action. In addition, I volunteered for World Action on Climate and Health.

It’s not easy to balance environmental activities and studying; it’s something that one learns as they go. I found planning weekly schedules (with clear short and long term personal and career goals) very helpful in managing the balance. I usually make one schedule with both environmental and personal activities. I also make sure to leave time for rest and studies because if I don’t factor this in, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It is not perfect but it works.

I have met amazing people who have what it takes in terms of passions and even in visions, but sometimes this is not enough. Having willingness, a platform, resources and the right mindset is what it takes to change the story.

I have always been honored to be part of environmentalism, from when I received prizes from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Nipe Fagio, up to when I received a certificate from Environmental Watch Association Tanzania for showing a high degree of self-motivation and for my efforts in conserving and protecting the environment. Seeing Tanzania Youth Biodiversity Network Club moving from being a dream to being something concrete with a great team, great support and the freedom to share my journey, my vision, my abilities and my blessings with others is humbling and honoring.

I met one man during my journey of environmental activity and he said something that stuck with me.

“Zuhura, there are few people like you who study education and have a passion for the environment. I really appreciate that and am inspired.” This changed everything.

Currently, I am an active volunteer in Tanzania Youth Biodiversity Network and EARTHDAY.ORG, and I will always be on the forefront of driving transformative change in my family, friends, community and planet.

I especially encourage youth around the world to volunteer for our planet Earth, since nothing will change without caring for it.


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

First Environmental Club of People of Determination

Ghayathi Center for Care and Rehabilitation

Earth Day School

For Earth Day 2020, Ghayathi Center for Care and Rehabilitation in Abu Dhabi found exciting ways to virtually engage community members in the environmental movement. The center recently started an online forum for users to share their thoughts about the environmental movement, giving people greater opportunities to raise their voices to defend the planet.

The Ghayathi Center also actively works to include special needs individuals in the environmental movement. It developed the first environmental sustainability club for people with special needs in the western portion of the United Arab Emirates, effectively bringing together environmental activists, people of determination and other community members in Abu Dhabi for a common purpose.

Students at Ghayathi Center learning about water and electricity

They have accomplished this in part through their art program for special needs children. The program encourages participants to make original pieces of art using recycled materials, sending a strong message to all of us: regardless of our age, race, gender or anything else, we still can act to save our planet.

According to special education teacher Riadh Zammali, the opportunity for students with disabilities to contribute to the environment “is an opportunity for community participation, responsibility, social integration and increased confidence in them as individuals with national responsibilities.”


KUWAIT

Solar-Powered Chargers

Al-Bayan Bilingual School

Earth Day School
Solar-powered charging station

The students of Al-Bayan Bilingual School in Kuwait City, Kuwait are keenly aware of their responsibility, both now and into the future, to better look after the Earth.

“It is important as educators that we support them in taking action to address concerns that are important to them and their local communities. From diverse marine ecosystems to harsh deserts that can reach temperatures of 60°C in summer, our students can see the impact of climate change around them happening now.”

-Kevin Fullbrook, Deputy Director of Al-Bayan Bilingual School

Despite learning virtually for most of 2020, students were able to assemble a mobile solar-powered charging station for their mobile devices. Students learned about circuits, photovoltaic cells, batteries and solar charging, and were able to construct and test different configurations for efficiency and charging capabilities. Students enjoyed considering the social impact of what devices like this might have for communities where access to reliable power sources can be a challenge.


INDIA

Our School, Clean School

Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1 Roorkee School

Earth Day School
SWACHHTA ABHIYAN IN NEAR VILLAGE KHANJARPUR
Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1 Roorkee School cleaning up the local community

For Vipin Kumar Tyagi, Principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1 Roorkee School, it is important to make students aware about environmental issues and how to decrease pollution and the greenhouse effect.

Roorkee KV School has launched a planting project in which every student plants a tree on his or her birthday and takes care of it. As a result, more than 2,000 plants were planted this year and more than 12,000 have been planted over the last eight years. The school is also raising awareness about swachhta, or hygienic practices, among students to keep the environment clean and green. They have also developed two fruit gardens in the school.

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”


UNITED STATES

Earth Day Storybook Trail

Elisabeth Wilkins

EARTHDAY.ORG Virginia Grantee

Like many of us, Clean Community Coordinator Elisabeth Wilkins from Virginia, US, had to quickly reimagine Earth Day 2020 plans and adapt to community restrictions due to COVID-19. Originally planning to host a library Teach-In event, Elisabeth redirected funds to install a storybook trail at Woodville Park.

“Park goers follow the signs around a short path to read an environmentally-themed picture book, page by page. It will be up for at least a year, with the story changing out each month. It’s a great opportunity for kids of all ages, and their families/friends, to share an environmental story together and learn a little something, while getting outside for some healthy sunshine!” 

By partnering with local partners like libraries and conservation groups, Elisabeth was able to create an interactive, outdoor resource for students to connect with nature and build literacy skills!  


TANZANIA

Artist for the Earth

Mihayo Kallaye

Earth Day Volunteer

I am a Tanzanian mixed medium painter and an environmental scientist based in Dar-es-salaam. Lately the temperature in Dar-es-salaam has been rising above and dropping below normal, while the rainy season has been shifting and leading to flooding. Everyone has been questioning themselves on why the conditions in Dar-es-salaam have become like this. This has brought climate change more into my thoughts and has made this issue clearer to my community. After observing my lifestyle and my society’s lifestyle, I came to realize that there are small things that we do that contribute strongly to climate change. If these acts are done by repeatedly by many people, then they will have a huge impact.

On Swahili Street of Dar-es-salaam, I find different types of waste materials littered everywhere I go. Waste management is a problem from the source where waste is generated, as well as through storage, collection and disposal. As a young boy, it was sometimes difficult to play football due to the overflow of a landfill site which was near our playing ground. During rainy season, it was completely a mess due to lack of a proper drainage system for runoff water. It was a bad experience to have at such a young age, and I was not yet aware of the cause.

My work is inspired by the ongoing poor waste management in Swahili Street of Dar-es-salaam. Working with oil paints, used plastic bottles and fabric to create mixed medium paintings, I start conversations about waste management by expressing my experience. I conceptualise my ideas and thoughts in my sketch book first, then paint the final sketch. The textures in my mixed medium paintings are inspired by a traditional practice of creating pots by clay soil at my Grandmother’s home town, Matema – Kyela, in the southern highlands of Tanzania. The eyes used in the figures I create on an abstract background are inspired by the Makonde tribe from Tanzania who scar their faces as decoration of beauty. I obtained this information from the Makonde people who trained me on painting lessons before I joined the Nafasi Art Academy for contemporary art.


UNITED STATES

Trees for a Good Cause

Piedmont Environmental Council

Earth Day 2020 Partner
Earth Day Tree Giveaway

In recognition of last year’s Earth Day theme of climate action, Piedmont Environmental Council in Virginia partnered with Friends of the Rappahannock and gave away 300 native trees to Fauquier County, Virginia residents in the days leading up to Earth Day. Taking into account federal and state guidance about social distancing, we opted to make direct deliveries to each participant’s home. This opportunity allowed individuals to make a positive impact in their own backyard while contributing to the larger conservation cause. 


INDIA

Youth Leader

Madhish Parikh

My Future My Voice Ambassador
Madhish and group planting a tree

Madhish Parikh is an active Youth Leader and is associated with many social changemaking organizations. He has worked extensively in social sectors like health, environment conservation, blood donations, digital literacy, education, youth empowerment, women empowerment and much more.

Madhish has been recognized for his work with several awards. For instance, his outstanding community welfare service was honored with “Indira Gandhi Award” by Honourable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on November 19, 2014 at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.

Climate activists posing with signs about climate action


TANZANIA

Not All Heroes Wear Capes or White Coats

Marthad Khojama

Earth Day Volunteer
My Future, My Voice Ambassador
Marthad Khojama

As I was growing up I always dreamt of being a medical doctor because I always thought of them as heroes. After I was chosen as a prefect at age 14, I was given a responsibility to take care of conifer seedlings. While taking care of them, I felt so much joy and happiness of seeing them grow that I promised to take my kids
here to see the trees in the future. Unfortunately, but also fortunately, I wasn’t accepted to medical school after high school. Instead, I was rerouted to the direction of what I really love: the environment.

I ended up at the School of Hygiene at Muhimbili University of Health and Allies Sciences studying Environmental Health Sciences. This when I realized that not all heroes wear white coats. I realized that the environment is the basic element for human health and life. In addition, protecting all living species and air, water and land quality is actually preventive medicine. Maintaining the balance of nature is the savior of life. With that in my mind, I know that I want to be part of maintaining life on Earth by protecting nature.

Marthad and group doing a cleanup

After completion of my diploma studies, I volunteered for an NGO known as Read International that promoted literacy and library refurbishment. I got a chance to engage the community and students, with whom I shared my story. I faced a question from many of these students: what would I do about climate change and loss of biodiversity as an environmentalist? So, I enrolled myself at Sokoine University of Agriculture, where I am currently studying Environmental Sciences and Management.

I volunteered for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by participating in cleanups and school climate literacy activities. Now, I am a Country Ambassador and Leader of my university chapter for EARTHDAY.ORG. I also initiated a campaign called Eco Election Movement 2020 during Tanzania’s elections to make my country aware of the importance of the environment in development, to encourage candidates of different positions to prioritize environmental policies in their campaigns and to prompt the public to vote for a leader who will guide us through this environmental crisis.

Marthad giving a presentation

I think everyone should be made aware of the importance of the environment and that environmental education should be part of civic education. This will foster efforts from individual, family, community, nation and ultimately worldwide levels in protecting and conserving the environment. It will help people from different walks of life and careers play their part in this. We should all feel responsible and come together for the sake of the survival of human kind. As for me, I will keep on pushing in this direction and energizing more youth for this cause.


UNITED STATES

Social Distance Cleanups

Hermitage Elementary School

Earth Day 2020 Partner

Because we had to cancel the events scheduled for the week of April 22, 2020, we created Social Distance Cleanups beginning October 12, 2020. We used grant money from EARTHDAY.ORG to purchase enough reusable bags, reusable gloves and grabbers to create 15 cleanup kits. We also purchased a couple of hand scales to weigh the collected trash. 

Families sign up for a cleanup kit, pick it up at school and then choose a spot to cleanup. They return the kits and bring the trash to school for us to weigh and dispose of properly. In just the first two weeks, we distributed eight kits and disposed of 50+ pounds of trash.

The cleanups are starting off well and we hope they continue to grow. The children enjoy cleaning up and they are learning how trash affects ocean life. They will be more responsible about litter and make a difference in their community.


UNITED STATES

Climate Action Kits

Community Climate Collaborative

Earth Day 2020 Partner
C3 delivering kits to youth. Photo credit: Community Climate Collaborative

Thanks to a grant from EARTHDAY.ORG, Community Climate Collaborative (C3) worked with the Virginia Discovery Museum and City of Promise to deliver climate action activity kits to families and youth in need of extra support during virtual learning. The kit contains a scavenger hunt about household energy use, a leaf-scratching art project, art materials to design reusable bags and recycled vegetable toys.

“These kits not only equip parents with fun activities to do at home, they also help our children take ownership of their environment. Learning about climate pollution and actively participating in tasks to do their part is so much more meaningful than reading about it in a book. It will become part of a routine and help families create healthy home energy practices!” – Ashley Howard, Early Childhood Coordinator, City of Promise

A look at what is inside the climate kits. Photo credit: Community Climate Collaborative


NIGERIA

Knowing Where I Live

Kevin Eyos

Earth Day School
Earth Day Volunteer
Students and leaders birdwatching.

I embarked on a project called “KNOWING WHERE I LIVE,” which lasted for two days and engaged students and tourists in birdwatching within a protected area (Becheve Nature Reserve). The aim was to let students and tourists use birds as focal species to help them understand what is happening in their environment. The participants enjoyed identifying different birds and analyzing their behavior.

It is important to teach students about protecting the Earth because man depends on the Earth for survival. There is a need for students who are future policy makers, leaders and conservationists to learn about and understand their environment so as to utilize resources sustainably. They must also do so to preserve biodiversity and protect against climate change and global warming.

Students birdwatching in the forest.


COLOMBIA

Guardian for Life

Francisco Javier Vera Manzanares

Earth Day 2020 Partner
My Future, My Voice Ambassador
Earth Day 2020 Francisco Vera Cundinamarca, Colombia Guardianes Por La Tierra

My name is Francisco Javier Vera Manzanares. I was born on July 18, 2009 and I am 11 years old; I am an activist defending life in Colombia. I founded the movement Guardians for Life which is made up mainly of boys and girls, am part of Fridays For Future and Citizens’ Climate Lobby platforms in Colombia and am a partner of Earth Day 2020.

In December 2019, I made a presentation in the plenary session of the Senate of the Republic of Colombia where I made a call to the congressmen of my country to legislate for life and to adopt environmental policies because there is no planet B.

Francisco speaking at the plenary session of the Senate of the Republic of Colombia

I have done political advocacy seeking the prohibition of spraying crops of coca with glyphosate in Colombia’s anti-drug policy; the ban on fracking, single-use plastics and animal testing; and the declaration of a climate emergency in Colombia.

As the founder of the Guardians for Life Movement I have led cleanups, tree plantings in different territories of my country, advocated for seedlings and promoted days to use bicycles as a means of alternative transportation.

Francisco waving the Colombian flag

Finally, education is very important to me. I was panelist in academic spaces of the National Pedagogic University, Industrial University of Santander, Externado University of Colombia and the V Low International Forum Carbon City. I was also a speaker on the TedUExternado platform.


MADAGASCAR

Sustainable Forest

Ambatobe village
The Canopy Project™
Kids in Ambatobe planting trees

Coordinated by a Malagasy team from the city of Antalaha, Madagascar, the Canopy Project has helped the village of Ambatobe plant 70,000 trees in 2020. The restored canopy cover will help stabilize and regenerate local soil and protect the nearby riverbank from serious floods and cyclones.

Thanks to the restored trees, the entire Ambatobe community will benefit. 110 small-scale farmers and their families have worked to create a local cooperative to protect and steward the reforested area. They are working collaboratively to tend to the growing trees and to harvest the fruits, coffee and cloves that some of the planted species will provide. The cooperative will use funds raised from crops to help purchase solar panels, manage irrigation and reclaim any excess product from the harvesting process for use in their gardens.

Team emptying canoes


KOSOVO

Green Clubs Empower Students

Green Art Center – Prishtina
Earth Day 2020 Partner
Students planting a tree in their schoolyard

Green Art Center is currently implementing the project “Eco Schools program by Empowering Green Clubs,” which started in September 2020 and will end in February 2021. The overall objective of this project is to establish and strengthen the capacities of green clubs. Green clubs have proven to be effective in introducing environmental issues to young students and helping schools reduce their waste.

Our students enjoyed planting trees in their schoolyards the most. We sent 10 trees to each school, and worked with a total of 20 schools for this project. Under the motto “Together for a green environment,” students of green clubs held activities for greening their school yards and raised awareness to the wider community about the importance of preserving and caring for common spaces and a sustainable environment.

Students preparing to “green” their schoolyard
Student digging a hole to plant a tree

By educating our students, the next generation will better understand the importance of protecting and respecting our planet. They will also be aware about the challenges that face us in sustaining and protecting our planet, and will be prepared with the knowledge and tools to solve these challenges.


INDIA

Climate Literacy in India

Licypriya Kangujam

My Future My Voice Ambassador
Licypriya leads The Great Climate March

Licypriya is nine-year-old climate activist calling for policy to combat climate change and compulsory climate education in India. She is leading a climate literacy pledge with several schools in India. She has received support from the state governments of Rajasthan, Sikkim and Gujarat to make climate literacy mandatory in their curriculum.


INDIA

Cleanup for Ghandi Jayanti

Clean Ganga River Campaign

The Great Global Cleanup™

On the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the team of Swachh Ganga River Bachao Abhiyan collected plastic waste from the Chandrabhaga River for the Triveni Ghat Sanitation Campaign. After the cleanup, 500 cloth bags were distributed.

Clean Ganga River Campaign

Every day, the river becomes more contaminated with domestic organic and inorganic waste, including clothing and garbage. To mitigate this, a camp has been organized to collect old clothes at Triveni Ghat.

The Great Global Cleanup

INDIA

Cyclists With a Mission

Neelu Mishra

International Athlete
Neelu Mishra and cycling team

International athlete Neelu Mishra is leading a cycling team. It is to spread a message to save our environment by reducing our carbon footprint. VESS India and District Environment Committee are also part of it. This initiative has been started under the aegis of Smart City Varanasi. Last week, Municipal Commissioner of Nagar Nigam Varanasi and District Health Officer Nagar Nigamalso took part in it and covered around 16 kilometers by cycle.


PALAU

Combining Science and Natural Heritage

Kaylee Giramur

My Future My Voice Ambassador
Group at Jellyfish Lake

Kaylee Giramur graduated in 2018 from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii and holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. In August 2018 she was hired at the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF), Palau and currently works with them as a marine lakes research assistant. Some of her duties include: assistance in the monthly monitoring of the jellyfish population in Jellyfish Lake by measuring the water quality of the lake and collecting water samples for analysis.

One of the current GEF SGP projects in 2020 that Kaylee is working on at CRRF is bringing students aged 11- 25 years to explore and experience the Jellyfish Lake and enabling the children and youth to appreciate their natural heritage and develop a sense of ownership to Palau’s environment and culture. Kaylee, along with the experienced staff of CRRF, are providing lessons, tours, and giving the children and youth an incomparable “tour” that is both science and heritage-based for the Palauan children.


IRAQ

Environmental Education Is the Future

Rania Kattan

My Future My Voice Ambassador
Rania and TOGETHER

My name is Rania Ali Kattan and I am 18 years old from Iraq. I am currently a first-year student majoring in the Architecture and Sustainability department at University Kurdistan Hewler (UKH). I have been a volunteer with TOGETHER (Together to Protect the Humans and the Environment), a partner of EARTHDAY.ORG, since 2013. I have been attending Earth Day events since I was younger. For instance, I attended the Earth Day Marathon in Erbil that was held in Park Sami Abdulrahman in 2014. Also, I managed a project of collecting plastics, metal and glass in order to emphasize the importance of recycling in 2018.

With little support and limited resources, I started getting involved with environmental literacy last year. This summer, I ran a series of educational lessons on Zoom. I taught kids (ages 6-12) from the Mosel and Kurdistan region various topics, such as the role of young students in leading environmental education in their schools and how to establish eco clubs and push for environmental curriculum within their studies. I always gave them homework on recycling everyday objects, reducing the amount of unnecessary water and electricity, reusing items and getting to know our planet better overall.

These lessons lasted a month and a half and were held twice a week, each for about an hour. At the end of classes, I visited Mosel in order to hand out their certificates, while taking health precautions by wearing double masks and sanitizing.

Rania talking about sustainable development and environmental education

With the help of Mr. Rusul Al Shihab and Saadia F. Hassoon (President of TOGETHER), I became one of Earth Day Ambassadors via participation with #MyFutureMyVoice. I was extremely excited to be one of the panelists speaking in the Youth and Climate Education webinar that was organized by EARTHDAY.ORG and Mock COP.

My future plans include giving online English lectures to kids (ages 10-14) starting on December 5, 2020. I will mostly focus on educating and expanding their English environmental vocabulary. As for the far future, since I will be an architectural engineer, I will focus on designing and executing sustainable buildings. I really hope that we can make a difference in our world because we are heading toward a crisis!


TANZANIA

Bella Kagisa
Earth Day Volunteer
Bella planting trees

Born and Raised Environmentalist

My name is Bella Kagisa, a young lady and a fresh graduate. This story is based on my real-life experiences. I was born and raised in a family of an environmentalist. My dad has always loved and cared for the environment so much. He always bought books of trees and flowers. I was so interested in the books because of their beautiful pictures of flowers and I really liked the passion my dad had for his career. I liked getting to know different species of plants in their biological names, Swahili names and our local tree names from his books. Going to the fields with him and identifying the tree species was extra fun to do.

Planting trees is a tradition to all of us in the family. Each one of us has a portion of flowers to take care of when we are at home. My dad taught us how to water, trim and take care of the flowers. My home is surrounded by big beautiful trees that have never been cut since they were planted. The sunny days are not a big problem since we have shades for them at home. The area around my home always has fresh air from the plants. You should visit our home once! I know you will love it. We also have a shamba, fruits of almost all kinds, veggies and plenty of banana plants.

The interesting part of this story is that I followed my dad’s path. I am now an Environmental Scientist and I am so proud of it. I am a good ambassador of the environment, since I was trained from an early age. I really do not know how I came to this field but I love what I am doing. With all the practical trainings from my dad about forestry, I learned a lot about what I can do for our lovely environment. The environment is all we have as human beings. It takes care of us all.

I can now proudly say that my dad’s life and career built me into what I am today. And I can proudly to say I am a better version of him. I am ready to take good care of the environment and protect and conserve it for all.

Bella and group planting trees

I would also like to invite each one of you to be an ambassador for the environment, since there are many things one can do to conserve it. Do not forget to plant a tree for a greener and safer planet! It does not need much — it only needs willingness from within.


TANZANIA

Journey Within My Field

Rhoda Chausa
Earth Day Volunteer
My Future My Voice Ambassador

My name is Rhoda Chausa, a university student from Tanzania pursuing a bachelor of arts in geography and environmental studies. My journey in environmental studies started during my high school years as I was taking an HGL combination (history, geography, language).

I fell in love with geography and that motivated me to explore the world of geography and the environment. Within this long and interesting journey, I managed to learn, meet new people and organize events. I taught environmental education to students in both primary and secondary school, organized environmental cleanups around my community and led and participated in tree planting events.

When I am at home during my holidays, I mostly spend my time doing at-home activities, including recycling. I tend to re-use plastic or wine bottles to create decors for houses or pots for planting trees.



This has been a fun activity, especially since my mom just joined me in creating something out of stuff that seemed like it had no other purpose. As an environmentalist, I understand that by doing this, I can make my environment plastic free and clean. Apart from keeping the environment clean, we are also making business through the things that we make. People get more motivated when they find out just how much they can do with the stuff they have been throwing out. This also enables me to get other people involved in the fight against climate change and environmental pollution.

The more I am exploring this field, the more proud and interested I become to do and learn more. Just like the famous singer Allan Walker said in his song “Different world,” we still have time to create a better world.

bagged plastic


TANZANIA

Using Computer Literacy to Spark Change

Frank E. Anderson

Earth Day Volunteer

My name is Frank E. Anderson, and I am a young graduate of environmental sciences but very skilled in computer literacy. My colleagues used to call me maestro due to my devotion and skills that I used to make everyone proud.

To begin my story, I should say that I am proud of my almighty God who powered a humanitarian heart in my blood and my skills and enthusiasm in computing, mapping and technology. I was raised in nontechnical environment where it was difficult to access computers. I started to learn computer hardware with friends in university. After repairing my father’s desktop, I began my journey of web development. I developed almost three web apps and repaired a number of computers and mobile phones without any charges.

Frank profile

I aspired to pursue a career in technology, especially computing, but faced obstacles when I chose not to study math in my advanced education. I did not secure a chance to study computing due to a lack of advanced mathematics qualifications. Although I was very frustrated, I chose to find an alternative career that can best align with my aspiration. After winning a Google scholarship for data science, I was inspired to study environmental sciences to integrate with my data skills.

At first, I found out that GIS and remote sensing are the only parts of computing in environmental sciences. I had no experience with GIS before, but I was determined to dig deeper into GIS fresh from my 1st year of studies, and it was very easy to learn. I was able to get involved in many humanitarian assistance activities, in which I utilized my mapping skills. In fact, I was so interested in GIS that I tried to innovate my own toolkit for waste management and traffic congestion detection.

Frank working on a computer

Now, I can say that I am proud of my GIS skills, as I have been able to integrate them with computing for humanitarian assistance in collaboration with international organizations such as Red Cross, HOTOSM and Youth Mappers. In addition, I have used these skills to tackle the environmental crisis, having volunteered with EARTHDAY.ORG to support Earth Challenge 2020 in Tanzania.


BRAZIL

An Earth Day 2020 Message from Brazil

ABRASOFFA

Earth Day Partner
Bernardo Zamari Diogo and sister Valentina Zamari Diogo from ABRASOFFA, Santos, Brazil

One of our honorary partners in South America for Earth Day 2020 was ABRASOFFA, a non-profit organization with an OSCIP title and special consultative status from ECOSOC-UN. Its projects focus on culture, folklore and traditions, social, educational development, civics and social inclusion. Headquartered in Santos Brazil, it has an international presence in several countries in Latin America. 

Their in-person events were temporarily postponed or changed to digital events to comply with current pandemic regulations. Among their many national and international digital events, one in particular gathered our attention for its message of culture, art and folklore as well as the importance of being an inclusive community against climate change and the protection of our environment. 

Its members Bernardo Zamari Diogo and Valentina Zamari Diogo championed this beautiful and creative message for Earth Day 2020 by calling for action on climate change.