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Talking about the wider issues with #EarthDay comms

26 April 2022

Awareness days have always been a great excuse to get involved and share what we are working on as charities – especially in relation to some of society’s bigger issues. The annual Earth Day, celebrated worldwide on April 22, is just one such example. It’s a chance to show support for environmental protection and talk about the issues affecting our planet.

This year it was amazing to see how charities used Earth Day to make the connections between their various causes and the environmental crisis we face.

Here’s just a few that grabbed our eye…

Charity: water – showing the link between protecting the environment and access to clean water

When we think about the environmental crisis the effects of what is happening on nature is of course often a big consideration. This Earth Day charity: water took the opportunity to also show the public the link between protecting the environment, in particular trees, and ensuring access to clean water for future generations.

In their own words: “it’s not enough just to bring clean and safe drinking water to those who need it most today. You have to ensure that it’ll remain available for their children—or even their children’s children— tomorrow.”

A great example of clear, concise comms that not only addresses what is happening now but also looks to the future too.

Single Homelessness Project – highlighting how climate change impacts the homeless

Some of the effects of climate change and the environmental crisis may not always be as obvious to everyone as others. The Single Homelessness Project (SHP) used Earth Day to highlight one of these – the impact of extreme weather changes on people who are living on the streets.

With a series of bold graphics posted on their Twitter feed, SHP clearly communicated how deadly both extreme heat and intense cold snaps can be for those living on the streets as well as the adverse impact of high pollution levels too. A clever and impactful way of communicating to the public a lesser discussed impact of the current crisis.

Wellcome – explaining how climate change is also a global health concern

The environmental crisis impacts on people’s lives in a vast range of ways and how Wellcome are helping people understand health is one of them. The charity used Earth Day to explain how climate change and health are interconnected by sharing a host of interesting facts. Facts such as: “around a third of heat-related deaths are already attributable to climate change”.

In a useful explainer blog on their website, Wellcome helped join the dots between everything from “the spread of infectious diseases due to flooding or warmer climates, to the disruption of food systems by extreme weather”. Communicating effectively with facts and figures it shows how by arming the public with knowledge it can spur them to take action on big issues.

UNHCR – raising awareness about the connection between refugees and the environmental crisis

The UN Refugee Agency took the opportunity of Earth Day to throw a spotlight on some of those on the front line of the environmental and climate crisis. In an emotional message featuring one of their ambassadors UNHCR reminded the public that for refugees who are already fleeing violence, persecution, war or disaster, weather events connected to climate change make their situations even harder.

In a video posted on Twitter UNHCR ambassador, Kat Graham explained the refugee-climate connection. She said: “Making their situations even more dire are floods, droughts, hurricanes and other weather events that are becoming more and more extreme in their countries. For them displacement and climate change create a life or death emergency”.

A hard-hitting message, intertwined with footage of climate related disasters, it truly brought the reality of what is happening home.

If you’re interested in finding out more about communicating the environmental crisis, whether it’s your core cause area or not, then join us for the upcoming CharityComms conference: ‘Communicating to create change: tackling the environmental crisis’. The environmental crisis will impact every charity and every person they exist to serve and support, no matter the charity purpose so let’s work together to create meaningful change.

For more ideas and further reading check out our new page: Social issues | CharityComms

Banner Image: Nothing Ahead on Pexels

Christine Fleming

Head of digital content, CharityComms

Christine is the head of digital content at CharityComms in charge of the commissioning and editing of all content on the site as well as leading on the project management of the new look best practice guides. A former journalist with a background in online news, she has a masters in Global Media and Transnational Communications and is passionate about comms and helping charity communications thrive.