A Different Kind of Earth Day

A Different Kind of Earth Day

April 24, 2020
Avinash Kalagarla plants herbs on his patio, Houston, TX.

Earth Week 2020 is different from years past. Many people have been working from home for weeks and limit the time and reasons they leave their homes. During this unprecedented quarantine, Tom Yost, PE, Walter P Moore's Washington, D.C. Green Team Lead, collected tips from our team members all over the world. He discovered that physical distancing has created new opportunities to adopt sustainable habits or to learn something new about green living. From coast to coast, team members weighed in on how they finding ways to stay green during quarantine, differences they've noticed, and some binge-worthy suggestions.

Green Living Tips

Working from home eliminates the ecological impact of your commute, but our team members didn't want to stop there. Everyone can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint even while staying home.

  • (Pictured Above:) “Utilizing quarantine days with my roommate, I organized and planted basil, marigolds, rose, mint, cilantro, and a creeper plant with many to come into my green small world! So take some time to make your home pleasant and green." – Avinash Kalagarla, Houston
  • “Limiting grocery shopping to once a week during quarantine, I have learned to be more creative when cooking, using what I have on hand. This has led to less food waste for me overall.” – Sarah Ewing, Altanta
  • “I’ve been spending a few minutes each day picking up trash on my street…and obviously washing my hands really well afterward.” – Tom Yost, Washington DC

What We've Learned from the Current EcoChallenge

Each year in April, Walter P Moore participates in the EcoChallenge, which assigns point values to different eco-friendly actions, like using a reusable water bottle, writing poems about the Earth, to researching sustainability, and Moore. Our team members in different regions of the U.S. compete against each other to receive points—and accomplish eco-friendly tasks in the process.

  • “DYK: 30% of crops and 90% of plants rely on pollinators which emphasizes the importance of native plants and biodiversity!" – Martin Torres, Austin
  • “Food expirations dates are not required or regulated by the federal government, nor do they indicate whether or not the food is safe to consume. I know in the past I was guilty of throwing away food that had passed its use-by date without really checking to see if it was still edible. Being informed helps me to reduce my food waste in more ways than one.” - Mia Jimenez, Washington DC

Bird Watching in Pune

View from a balcony in Pune, India

  • “I see more birds from the balcony these days. Some of the birds I typically see are Green Parrots, Indian Grey Hornbill, and Brahminy Kites.” - Rashmi Kamble, Pune

What’s Cool on Netflix

If you're getting tired of your tried-and-true shows and movies, team members came up with a few suggestions for your next video streaming "binge"...after your work day of course. 

  • Chasing Coral – “It’s about a long-term study by Seychelles that has revealed that coral bleaching is permanently altering fish communities. The coral bleaching in 1998 triggered changes in biodiversity and the range of fish species that still remain in place today. I have always loved the ocean and learning about how essential it is to our eco-system since I was young. This documentary really gets in to and opens your eyes that Climate change is not above the water but under it as well.” – Kristianna Segura-Hall, New York City
  • Into the Grand Canyon (Disney+) – “It’s about a guy who walks the entire length of the grand canyon (750 miles) and also goes into how the commercial development has impacted the Grand Canyon. It gives you a peek into some remote areas of the Grand Canyon that you would otherwise never see!” – Janet Jacob, Tampa
  • Before the Flood – “Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists, and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions. It is a well-done documentary with a powerful message and a broad look at what we’re facing.” – Martin Torres, Austin & Zenab Haq, Houston
  • "Disney+ partnered with National Geographic to feature an excellent series exploring the Earth and all types of animals including 'Giants of the Deep Blue' and 'Journey to Shark Den.' The imagery is incredible and they also serve as great science lessons if you are currently teaching from home." - Kirsten Cornell, Houston

New Ways to Connect

Heal the World chalk drawing on fence

Chalk art has become a popular way to share messages with our neighbors and brighten the sidewalks that seem to be getting much more traffic lately. Families are finding new ways to spend time together out of the house, even if it means that they don't venture too far outside.

  • “Our family camped in the backyard and my 7-year-old said (and I’ll try to do this in his voice and inflection), ‘We are going cahhh-roNAH camping.’” -Dirk Kestner, Austin

Although Earth Week may look different this year, there are still several ways to stay healthy, stay connected, and think Green.