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350 Eugene Celebrates 50th Earth Day with Social Distancing Practices

Elizabeth Gabriel


Public gatherings for the 50th Earth Day celebration today were not an option due to social distancing. But 350 Eugene held an electric car parade to keep up spirits.

350 Eugene special projects coordinator Linda Perrine says they debated having an Earth Day celebration in Eugene.

350 Eugene members prepare to take off for the parade.

“We were leaning towards not doing anything to celebrate Earth Day because we're not feeling very positive at this point,” said Perrine. “[But] calling people's attention to the changes that have to happen is much more important at this point.”

So, the group held the electric car parade to remind people about environmental issues still taking place.

“We have kicked the can down the road for 50 years,” said Perrine. “That's what this earth day is. One more reminder that we have kicked the can for 50 years and not really taken any serious action on behalf of the planet, the environment, the climate, the biodiversity and so on.”

350 Eugene is also suggesting ways to celebrate while practicing social distancing. Their tree speech action allows you to celebrate from your own backyard. 

Credit Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC News
An electric car decorated for the Earth Day parade.

“Everyone in town can go out and find a particular tree and post a message from the tree to all of us,” said Perrine. “[An example is one] that says, ‘Hug the tree, feel better’ and ‘I'm a southern beech.’ In other words, identify the type of tree and why it's special and let it have its own speech on Earth Day and hang a sign with the trees’ speech.”

In honor of Earth Week, environmental activists across the country are also participating in the stop the money pipeline campaign to raise awareness against companies who fund the fossil fuel industry.

Perrine said they are encouraging online activism by creating a poster with the letters N-G-E, and standing in front of a Chase bank so it spells out the word “change.”

You can also visit the 350 EUG Facebook page to learn other ways to celebrate Earth Week while practicing social distancing. 

Elizabeth Gabriel is a former KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She is an education reporter at WFYI in Indianapolis.
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