April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. However, like most things right now, it’s not possible to celebrate like we normally would. Taking a hike, planting a tree, or participating in a rally were all common ways we celebrated Earth Day together these past 50 years. With those things currently impossible in most places, environmentalists and Earth fans must get a little more creative.
Thankfully, we at the Museum of Pop Culture are no stranger to getting a little more creative when it comes to our programming. MoPOP Don’t Stop has been our vehicle to deliver nonstop pop culture content to your homes. And while we’re excited to keep providing you with that, there’s some things other organizations are more adept to provide.
So, we’ve collected some resources from friends of MoPOP to interact with Earth Day from the comfort of your couch. It may not be the way we hoped to spend a spring day helping the planet, but it’s important we get involved in whatever way we can, together (metaphorically of course).
Movies at MoPOP: Good Planets Are Hard to Find
While MoPOP is not a climate-action organization (what?!), we want to draw attention to all the ways that pop culture explores environmental issues. This blog post, published on the day of the Global Climate Strike, explores different mediums and how environmentalism and sustainability are not some fad but things which have permeated pop culture for years. Similarly, MoPOP’s online film series Good Planets Are Hard to Find (GPAHTF) uses popular films to discuss different environmental themes, from dystopian ecological collapse to the potential for a harmonious future.
Through GPAHTF, we have been fortunate enough to work with environmental organizations in our own community. 350 Seattle was with us during our first GPAHTF screening of Mad Max: Fury Road, grounding the film in its environmental themes and helping our audience think of Mad Max as more than just cool explosions. Check out 350 Seattle's list of upcoming events to support them!
While we haven't been able to have them in our physical space, Zero Hour is another climate-focused organization and friend of MoPOP. Its staff is made up of an incredible group of high school students making a difference. They’ve grown to have chapters all around the world, creating a community of thousands of youth leaders passionate about taking the fate of their future into their own hands. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
Earth Day Live
Both 350 Seattle and Zero Hour will be part of the global effort to bring Earth Day 2020 to as many computer screens as possible with Earth Day Live, which will feature 24 hours of content from climate organizations around the world. The stream will present ample opportunities to engage with climate action for all levels of activism. It’s a chance to feel empowered to make a difference, something that may feel out of reach for many right now.
More Ways To Engage
If the tunnel aquarium from our Snowpiercer watchalong piqued your interest in marine life, check out the 24/7 live webcams available at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Or, you can adopt an animal through Mote and get yourself an octopus familiar. If you’re more interested in tigers, lions, and bears (just don’t go all Tiger King please), Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo has your webcam fix. Finally, to fulfill all your Princess Mononoke dreams, listen to a soothing audio tour from the Washington Park Arboretum Pacific Connections Garden. Close your eyes and envision riding a giant wolf in the wind (add a fan for the full effect).
Being inside doesn’t have to hinder us from celebrating the earth. Since we’re already inside staring at our screens all day, we might as well include some activism into our quarantine schedules. So put that banana bread in the oven, reorganize your spice cabinet, and help save our planet.
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