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Earth Days of Action: Creating Change

Ohio Environmental Council, April 1, 2021

Earth Day 2021 – Creating Change

Earth Day provides an important reminder that we must take action to protect and celebrate the planet we call home. The past year has provided a stark reminder of the value of Ohio’s natural resources: we all deserve clean air to breathe, safe water to drink and wash our hands, and nearby nature to explore.

The OEC continues to advocate for strong policy and sound science that protects our environment and public health.

To celebrate Earth Day 2021 we invite you to join us in a week of action to create change—in our backyards, throughout our communities, and for our planet as a whole. We will provide opportunities to learn, advocate, volunteer, give, and play during the week of Earth Day. We hope you will join us!

 Sign Up!


Thank you for taking action and creating change with the OEC in celebration of Earth Day! This week, the OEC team will give away 3 OEC prize packs to supporters that complete a day of action *AND* share their story. Here’s how to enter:

  • Take action! 
  • Share your story: Send us a quick email detailing what action you took today OR post your story on social media using hashtag #OECEarthDay2021. (For example, if you took a walk in your local park, share a photo on your social media page with the hashtag #OECEarthDay2021!) 

We will randomly select our winners on Monday, April 26. (The more actions you take, the more opportunities you have to win!) Winners will receive OEC gear and other surprises in their pack. 

Don’t miss your chance to take action, create change, and be entered in this exciting giveaway.

Monday, April 19th – LEARN

Today, we invite you to take some time to learn about the OEC’s work to secure a healthier environment for all who call Ohio home.

Over the past year, the OEC posted many deep-dive blogs and hosted dozens of conversations with expert climate activists, world renowned authors, as well as local land, water, energy, and democracy leaders. Importantly, we’ve talked a lot about how the fight for a healthy environment is often linked to the fight for social justice.

Check out a few of our favorites:

Flowers near Tinker's cave

(LAND) Did you know April is Ohio (and National) Native Plant Month? Our native plants are cornerstones of our environment, and crucial to the health and success of pollinators, wildlife, and our economy. Last year, the OEC’s Director of Public Lands, Nathan Johnson, hosted a conversation with the advocates who made this designation possible. Tune in and learn more! 



(ENERGY) What impact does Ohio’s energy generation have on our neighbor’s health? What impact does policy—at the local, state, and national level—have on our fight against climate change? Check out this conversation on the climate and health impacts of energy production in Ohio.



The importance of fair maps that truly represent Ohio’s communities cannot be understated. Without a fair and truly representative democracy, Ohioans will continue to face environmental injustices from big polluters. With solid maps, the General Assembly and our Congressional delegation will amplify the voices of Ohioans. Learn more about the redistricting process by watching this presentation from the OEC.



(WATER) Last year, the OEC hosted a deep dive conversation with nationally-recognized advocates Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and Elin Warn Betanzo. Together these two powerhouse women uncovered and exposed the lead-in-water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Watch the recording here and learn more about the need for lead service line replacement programs in Ohio here.



(ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE) Together, environmentalists can empower our communities by taking action for racial equity. In order to secure a healthy, sustainable environment for all, we must reckon with a past that has perpetuated a system of racist inequities, from park access to policymaking. We encourage you to learn more by watching this virtual discussion with social and climate justice champions hosted by OEC Emerging Leaders. 

Want more? Take a look at more of our blog posts here, check out one of our GreenWatch newsletters here, or tune into a conversation here

Thank you for learning with us!


Tuesday, April 21st – VOLUNTEER

Volunteering and getting your hands dirty alongside members of your community is one of our favorite parts about Earth Day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities to get involved have been a little harder to find. That’s why on this day of volunteering, we’re excited to bring you a list of ways to get out into communities across Ohio and make a difference.

Earth Day volunteering might look a little different this year, but you can still stay safe, get outside, and create change for our planet! 

  • A Variety of Opportunities in Central Ohio: Earth Day Columbus has tons of opportunities all over the city of Columbus and Central Ohio—from garden and riverbank clean ups to tree planting, there’s something for everyone.
  • Tree Planting in Cincinnati: Sponsored by Great Parks of Hamilton County, Southwest Ohio volunteers can sign up to plant trees on Saturday, April 24, at Mitchell Memorial Forest, Triple Creek, and Withrow Nature Preserve. Register as soon as possible to save your spot! Be sure to check out Green Umbrella’s events calendar for a number of other opportunities in South West Ohio.
  • Volunteer Clean Up with Metroparks Toledo: To celebrate Earth Day, Metroparks Toledo will hold clean ups at Wiregrass Lake along the Mosely Trail, Side Cut along the river, and at Manhattan Marsh on Thursday, April 22! Sign up utilizing the link provided.
  • A Variety of Opportunities in Athens: There are many opportunities to learn and to volunteer in Athens and across Southeast Ohio. Take a look at this Earth Month calendar for ideas on where to plug in.
  • Volunteer Clean Up in Alliance: Northeast Ohioans can meet at Beach Creek Nature Preserve in Alliance, Ohio on Saturday, April 24, to clean up the nature preserve, followed by a hot dog cookout.
  • A Variety of Opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County: Sustainable Cleveland has curated a number of Earth Day events taking place in Cleveland and across the region. Check out the calendar for volunteer opportunities that fit your schedule. 

If you’re able, getting outdoors and working alongside your community is one of the most rewarding aspects of Earth Day. We hope to see you showing up to create change across Ohio!

Thank you for volunteering with us!


Wednesday, April 20th – ADVOCATE

Today, we invite you to join the OEC as we continue to advocate for strong policy and sound science that protects our environment and public health. We are excited to share ways in which you can advocate for the issue areas that matter to you most.

  • (LANDS) Raise Your Voice for NatureThis Earth Day, lend your voice to the growing chorus calling for major new protections for America’s lands and waters! In a flurry of executive orders issued in January, the Biden Administration declared the protection of 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030 a national priority in the fight against climate change. Known as the 30×30 Campaign, this is a global effort to both stem the biodiversity crisis and fight climate change. Can we count on you to raise your voice in the global effort to protect nature?One of the best ways to do this is by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper. Check out these tips for crafting your letter about the importance of protecting our land and water.
  • (ENERGY) Urge Your City to Commit to Reducing Carbon As individuals and communities, we each have an individual carbon footprint based on the amount of electricity we use, the miles we drive, the amount of food we consume, and materials we use every day. Reducing that carbon footprint results in a more sustainable community and helps address the impacts of climate change.What steps has your community taken to reduce its carbon footprint? What more can your community do to support clean energy, economic development, and healthy neighborhoods? Take a look at the Ohio Clean Energy and Sustainable Communities Toolkit and send a letter to your local elected leaders encouraging them to take action. 
  • (DEMOCRACY) Fight for Fair Maps It’s no secret that Ohio’s congressional and state legislative district maps are gerrymandered. Because of these maps, our legislators often fail to respond to Ohio voters on our most pressing issues, especially renewable energy and the fight against climate change.Fortunately, in 2015 and 2018, Ohioans overwhelmingly voted for new redistricting processes. If you’re part of a community organization or other network interested in learning more about the 2021 redistricting process, let us know, and we can set up a time to chat with your group! Check out our webinar explaining the new mapmaking process. And make your own map(s) representing your community! The OPEN maps project will use these community maps to inform the creation of equal districts in 2021.
  • (WATER) Send a Letter Supporting H2Ohio Over the last two years, the OEC and our members have played an important part in the launch of H2Ohio. This program is a comprehensive and science-based effort designed to improve Ohio’s water quality from source to tap. H2Ohio specifically focuses on reducing phosphorus, creating wetlands, addressing failing septic systems, and preventing lead contamination.Check out our video series breaking down how this program works and the impacts it’s having across the state! Then, send a letter to your state lawmakers about the importance of this groundbreaking program!

Thank you for advocating with us!


Thursday, April 22nd – GIVE

We rely on our members to make it possible for us to continue to strive towards ensuring all Ohioans have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and nearby nature to explore. You can help create change today by making a matched gift in honor of Earth Day. A friend of the OEC is matching all our Earth Day donations to help every dollar go further. This is a special opportunity for us all to partner together in creating change here in Ohio.

Donate Now!

Additionally, this Earth Day we are encouraging our members to create Facebook fundraisers to not only raise money to protect our Earth, but share with their friends and family why this work is so important. We’ll reach our Earth Day goal if just 25 people join in and create a Facebook fundraiser! Will you be one of them? 

Your fundraiser is helping fund critical advocacy efforts across Ohio. To show our appreciation, any public fundraiser that raises more than $250 will receive an OEC t-shirt or sweatshirt.

Everyday supporters like you are making big changes with your support of the OEC. Cities across Ohio are making the switch to renewable energy. Communities on Lake Erie are working together to cut back on toxic algae causing pollution. Fracking in the Wayne National Forest has been halted by the courts. Creating change is hard work. You’re helping make it possible every day.

Thank you for your generosity! 

Friday, April 23rd – PLAY

Thank you so much for joining us for our Earth Week of Action! Throughout this week we have learned, advocated, volunteered, and given in order to create change in our backyards, communities, and Earth. 

Today, we want to encourage you to get outside and enjoy our natural world. That’s right, we want you to opt outside and PLAY! 

We all play outside in different ways – whether that’s taking a walk through your favorite local park, gathering with family and friends for a cookout, kayaking around your favorite local water body, or camping at your favorite state park. These joyful activities rejuvenate our spirits and help foster deep appreciation for our environment and our natural resources, both of which are critical to our advocacy work.

Keep an eye out on our Instagram page @ohioenviro to see how the OEC staff plays outside. If you post a photo on social media showcasing how you love to spend time outdoors, make sure to use the hashtag #OECEarthDay2021 for the chance to win an OEC prize pack!

Thank you for taking action with the OEC this Earth Week. Have a great play day!