Care About Climate is charting new ways to celebrate Earth Day this year due to COVID-19.
Care About Climate, founded by former UArizona student Natalie Lucas, is charting new ways to celebrate Earth Day this year due to COVID-19.
The non-profit will host a series of free webinars throughout the week (For more details please check out their Facebook page):
Monday, April 20, 7:00-8:00 PM EST - EmpoderaClima, Women on the Frontline of Climate Change and COVID-19. Register here.
Wednesday, April 22, 3:00-4:00 PM EST - Bridging the Gaps in Youth Capacity Building. Register here.
Thursday, April 23, 2:00-3:00 PM EST - Environmental Activism on an International Stage. Register here.
Sunday, April 26, 4:00-5:00 PM EST - How to Get Involved at Care About Climate. Register here.
The current schedule is a shift from the planned grassroots activities, which involved getting involved with local Earth Day celebrations and sending Earth Day stickers for engagement, but the nature of the non-profit made the shift easier. Created and run by a generation that embraces social media and technology, Care About Climate is able to reach wider audiences even under social distancing constraints.
“[Social media] allows us to really engage people where they're at especially with the Coronavirus happening right now,” said Lucas. She continued, “We are really able to meet people where they are and because we also deal with a lot of different countries, we have been able to connect people around the world to take on climate action.”
Care About Climate was created in 2014 by a coalition of University of Arizona students. Leading up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) held in Paris, the coalition hosted presentations across the US to educate citizens about the Paris agreement and US climate change policy. In 2015, the coalition was able to attend the conference, with some members funded by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program (Haury Program).
“The Haury Program funding allowed students of low-income communities and communities of color to attend the negotiations, individuals who are not usually well represented,” said Lucas.
Following the Paris climate conference, Care About Climate made a shift in its focus from international policy to youth. “I think we knew in our heart of hearts that that wasn't going to solve the entire problem. And then a year later like Trump was elected, so it made it even harder,” said Lucas.
Care About Climate began to offer tools to youth, including guides, videos and an online classroom accessible 24/7, helping them do climate action programs within their own local communities. In addition to youth, Care About Climate works with international groups to share resources, ideas, and information allowing people to do work from the ground.
“Paris was a good stopping point. But, we shifted our focus from thinking about policy being a saving grace and thinking more about how we can give folks the tools to actually just go do the work,” said Lucas.
During her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, Lucas was the Executive Director of the Students for Sustainability. During her position, she helped start the Compost Cats and Greening the Game programs, funded by the UArizona Green Fund.
“I started learning how to do environmental organizing at the University of Arizona. It was a really cool experience to learn how to make change happen,” said Lucas.
For students trying to get involved in climate change or non-profit work, Lucas suggests to try things on and plug into your passion. Some other suggestions Lucas has for those looking to get involved in climate change include voting and getting involved in elections and voting for climate champions, working to encourage cities and states, colleges campuses and businesses to go to 100% renewable energy, and helping to create more efficient business processes and buildings.