This year’s Earth Day was bigger than ever, with politicians, businesses, celebrities, NGOs and activists all using it as a moment to announce new initiatives addressing climate change.
It would be an impossible task to summarise everything, but we’ve pulled together some of our highlights, as expressed on social media.
President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate Change coincided with Earth Day and, given he had wrangled some 40 global leaders to take part, most of them had decided it would be a bad look to turn up empty handed.
There were major commitments announced by countries including Japan, Canada, the UK and (under some duress) Brazil.
Businesses also used the day as an opportunity to unveil shiny new pledges around recycling, net zero emissions targets and other environmental measures such as reducing water usage.
A few that particularly caught our eye are listed here.
Burger King’s announcement of new climate pledges, with impact across their whole supply chain.
Visa, the world’s largest payment card, signed up to the Climate Pledge, to become one of more than 100 big companies committing to net-zero carbon by 2040 or sooner.
WPP, the world’s largest marketing services firm, also made a commitment to have net-zero carbon impact by 2030.
Extending the number of brands in its portfolio aiming for net zero, Nestle’s KitKat brand joined the club.
Among the millions of selfies in nature, a few images caught the imagination of social media users.
Among the most striking was an attempt to break the World Record for the number of lighted candles at a Buddhist temple near Bangkok.
And in a symbolic gesture, the Empire State Building was turned green, becoming a pillar of aspiration for New York and the USA as a whole.
Many green-minded celebrities took to their social media channels to celebrate Earth Day. Some were gushing and sentimental, some railed against the system, some celebrated tangible progress.
Here are a few examples.
Greta Thunberg, who must now also be classed as a celebrity, carried out interviews to promote her forthcoming documentary series, saying that “science is not the thing holding us back” from meaningful climate action.
Nicole Kidman was understated, with an Instagram post showing her gazing lovingly at some pot plants. But her fans seemed to appreciate it, with 147,000 Likes and counting at the time of writing.
Model and activist Cara Delevingne wrote an open letter published in British Vogue and announced the launch of a new charity, Initiative Earth, to restore ecosystems and revive communities around the world.
Finally, who better to celebrate all things green than Kermit The Frog….
In one sense, we all need reminding of earth’s fragility and uniqueness. Moon-lander Buzz Aldrin encapsulates it perfectly.
Some social media users were out there in a different sense, giving a nod to earth day in more offbeat ways. Have a break, have a more environmentally friendly KitKat and have a watch of a goose giving a puppy a ride….