Earth Day 2020 falls on Wednesday, April 22nd.  This year’s theme is Climate Action.

This 50th Anniversary of Earth Day will likely feel very different for all of us.  It comes in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. Many of us find ourselves locked down and staying home either through our own choice or government orders such as shelter in place.  While these measures are critical to saving lives and slowing the spread of the coronavirus, they are also having a positive impact on the planet.

Data from NASA and the European Space Agency have shown dramatic reductions in nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and pollution levels over Wuhan China and other cities during their lockdown.

NASA pollution Image China[Source: CNN]

The United States is experiencing similar decreases.  As a result of our reduced movement, big cities like Los Angeles and New York are seeing the best air quality in decades.

This photo by Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson shows clean skies over Los Angeles on April 7th during the stay at home order issued earlier in March.  The downtown highways are free of the city’s usual bumper to bumper traffic.LA Clear Skies

[Source: Reuters]

Do you wonder what will happen when the pandemic is over?  Though we feel the immediate urgency to fight the current COVID 19 pandemic, as thousands of people are dying from this disease daily, the climate crisis is also very real.  There are an estimated 150,000 climate related deaths annually

Lasting Changes

Together we have made massive changes to “flatten the curve” as we battle COVID 19.  These changes are beneficial for both crises. Can we hold on to some of our new ways of working and doing business that can help us reduce our impact on the planet and the climate crisis?  For example, can we work from home more often? Can we do business virtually instead of hopping on a plane? Our leadership team is already looking into carrying some of these forward after restrictions are lifted. 

Despite social distancing and limited travel, Earth Day is still a great chance to focus on caring for our beautiful planet.  There are tons of ways to celebrate Earth Day online at  Whether you prefer to join a group online or do something in your own home, you are sure to find what you are looking for to make an impact.  

Stay healthy, be well!

Are there changes your or your company have made that have positively impacted climate change that will be retained? Join in the conversation below.

Briana Hoffman, Senior Software Engineer and Project Manager
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