Earth Day Initiative Hosts Video Game Inspired Virtual Festival

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer

On April 18 and 19, Earth Day Initiative (EDI) and March For Science NYC will be hosting a virtual march and festival to celebrate Earth Day and encourage people to get engaged from their homes. The virtual event, inspired by 90s videogames, will allow marchers to create avatars, explore exhibitions, and engage with other eventgoers. The “SC1.5NCE NOT SILENCE” rally will host a range of speakers, including Elizabeth Warren, Alysia Reiner, LeAnn Rimes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Hamilton’s Seth Stewart.

Why This Matters: This event gives environmentalists, activists, and curious minds to come together in a new and innovative way when we can’t be together in person. It can be challenging to engage with people via phone calls, zooms, and emails. Still, through this event, attendees will have the opportunity to engage directly with exhibitors and climate leaders. EDI says the event hopes to “empow[er] people to continue to connect virtually around climate action and ways we can build a better future.”

What’s in Store? The event will feature panels on the Paris Agreement, science policy and anti-Asian xenophobia, environmental disasters, and clean water and environmental justice. These “discussion panels will engage and educate festival attendees on concrete solutions and urgent next steps to reverse the global climate crisis,” EDI said in a statement. Attendees will view exhibitions on clean energy and decarbonization technology, sustainable agriculture, art, short films, and more. And to top it all off, there will be musical performances by the cast of Jagged Little Pill on Broadway and LeAnn Rimes.

The event will kick start conversations about climate action leading up to the President’s virtual Earth Day summit. On the guest list are 40 world leaders, and Climate Envoy John Kerry has been traveling the globe to engage leaders and rally support for the event. The Biden administration hopes that its virtual summit will build momentum for the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow in the fall.

But for everyday people, that momentum doesn’t always translate into their daily lives. President Biden’s all-hands-on-deck strategy to achieve net-zero emissions requires the public’s hands as well, and EDI knows that starts with education and enthusiasm. 

EDI has held over 10,000 events across the country attended by movie stars and scientists alike. Last year, they held their first virtual Earth Day celebration that attracted 500,000 participants worldwide. This year they hope to grow that participation and have teamed up with dozens of environmental, educational, and tech organizations. Coalition members include the ASPCA, the Broadway Green Alliance, Think Zero, and Urban Food Lab.




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