KLA Perspectives

Making Earth Month (Actually) Count for Sustainability Goals

Posted byKim Lundgren on Mar 28, 2024 12:28:57 PM

It’s Time to Go Big to Protect Our Home. 

It’s unavoidable: if you are a local government or community group representative, taking part in upcoming Earth Month and Earth Day events is a must. 

And for good reason: every April, there is a surge of interest in eco-friendly solutions – in fact, Google searches surrounding climate change and sustainability often peak this time of year. Unfortunately, many Earth Day promotions and events are focused on surface-level, individualistic solutions (think re-usable straws) that don’t truly match the urgency of the climate crisis.  

This is where our approach to local climate action comes in: a laser-focus on the high-impact actions that will yield the greatest impact in terms of GHG emissions reductions or climate resilience. It’s why we work with our partner communities to ensure climate action plans don’t become a laundry list of projects (like unnecessary committees or drawn-out approval processes) – that siphon resources and focus from the work (like electrification and clean energy) that will make a difference. 

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And that same rationale holds true for Earth Day community engagement. By all means: stick with a tree planting, river cleanup, park beautification, or reusable bag giveaway if it’s already in the works or is a community favorite.  

Just don’t stop there.  

Pitch the event as “Step One” and map out other milestones that help community members connect with actions that have tangible and long-lasting impacts on emissions and resilience. 

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Here are some simple ways to incorporate truly impactful actions and messaging into your Earth Day outreach:  

  • Have a QR code that links directly to any available incentives like heat pumps, solar, and energy efficiency upgrades 
  • Ask an energy efficiency partner or home energy auditor to attend your event with a calendar app to schedule an audit 
  • Showcase EVs for sale from local dealers (and if possible, allow residents to test drive) 
  • Make pledge sheets available for people to commit to actions (i.e. “I pledge to consider an EV for my next car”) 
  • Create simple online quizzes that highlight the impact of various actions and policies 
  • Host a Trivia Night that weaves in themes and information related to high impact actions 
  • Create pop-up kiosks in high-traffic areas (bus stops, libraries, farmers markets, outside concert or sports venues) with QR codes and signage  
  • Screen a Movie in the Park or at a local theater that highlights the impacts and importance of climate action (see this list of climate books and movies for ideas!) 
  • Develop a scavenger hunt that sends people to places or information that connect them to climate change and emissions in  your community 
  • Set up a letter-writing station where people can write a quick note (to a local board or elected official about a policy issue, to a local business encouraging them to add solar, etc).  

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Resources and Examples for Earth Day Activities for Urgent Action: 

  • Download the images from this blog post to spread the word on bold action for Earth Month in your community
  • Adobe’s QR Code Generator (Make sure to use QR code generators that don’t expire after an amount of time – that way community members seeing older content can still access resources) 
  • San Antonio’s Federal Tax Incentive Page, which connects residents to available funding and incentives for high-impact actions 
  • NV Electric Vehicle Association’s Drive Electric Earth Day Event, which connects residents to EV resources and allows community members to test drive electric vehicles 
  • Cary, NV's Count Me In, Cary! Pledge Sheets, which allowed residents to easily access strategies for a more sustainable community and commit to action
  • Clark County NV’s All-In Sustainability Trivia, used at a bar trivia night with sustainable prizes for winners 
  • Climate books and movies to recommend or highlight during community events