Last month, we published a blog post on how our efforts to virtually organize students were recruiting more student activists into the public interest movement. As we wrap up the spring semester on the east coast, I’m happy to share that this enthusiasm for action hasn’t waned. PIRG students across the country organized more than 50 local actions and events with more than 800 attendees for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Check out our Earth Day highlights reel featuring the young leaders who are leading efforts across the country to protect our environment, and read the highlights below, recapping this year’s successful Earth Week.
MASSPIRG at UMass Amherst teamed up with Environment Massachusetts and Climate Action Now for a virtual town hall to celebrate their work on 100% renewable energy, and discuss the next steps for their campaign. At least 139 people attended the event and it was covered by The Greenfield Recorder, Amherst Wire, and WGBH radio.
OSPIRG Students held a virtual Earth Day rally, bringing together more than 60 students, community members, faculty, activists, musicians, and poets. The event called for action on climate change, drilling in the Arctic, and more.
Florida PIRG at Eckerd College held nine events during Earth Week, including a “How to Compost at Home” event, a panel discussion with Oceana on careers in environmental activism, and an action to stop oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Eckerd students also wrote emails to their representatives about the EPA’s rollback of environmental protections (it was many students’ first political action!) after a briefing by Dr. Joanna Huxter, an expert in environmental communication.
MaryPIRG students Emma Krueger and Reese Barrett lead a breakout group on renewable energy at the University of Maryland’s campus-wide Earth Day event. The event had 200 total attendees and featured author and environmental activist Bill McKibben as the keynote speaker, along with Maryland House Delegate Vaughn Stewart and other campus environmental leaders.
50 years of environmental progress
For decades, students have been at the forefront of the environmental movement, pushing their leaders to stand up for the Earth. That legacy continues to fuel our mission today as we push campuses and states to go 100% renewable, ban single-use plastics, and act on climate. Check out our Twitter thread here to see our 50 favorite environmental victories that PIRG has contributed to over the last 50 years.
We know we are entering uncharted waters as our communities transition to remote classes and take measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But we also know our generation has the energy and innovation to keep up the work for a better world. We may be inside, but we’re #InsideTogether. Learn more about our work to ensure that our government has a coordinated, strategic response to safeguard the public’s health, protect consumers from emerging dangers and ensure people can still participate fully in our democracy.