The Brief:

On April 22nd, meme-makers and environmentalists alike are calling for action to help protect our planet.


April 22nd marks the 49th annual celebration of Earth Day, though any environmentally-conscious, granola-crunching Gen Zer would tell you, “Everyday is Earth Day.”

First officially celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

For as many countries that celebrate Earth Day every year, there seem to be just as many memes circulating the globe, and we’re not just talking about Flat Earth memes.

Most Earth Day memes roast the folks who claim to take steps towards protecting the planet while at the same time doing something contradictory.

View this post on Instagram

Every time you take a bite, you’re taking an environmental action. The food we eat has a direct impact on our earth and climate. It makes up about 20% of your total carbon footprint. That’s a lot. So what can you do about it? Unpopular opinion: You don’t have to go vegan to start cleaning up the way you eat. I know, I know, going vegan is the single biggest way you can reduce your diet’s carbon footprint (by up to 84%). And if veganism works for you–hell yes, do it! But ending consumption of all animal products isn’t the answer for everyone (and is privileged AF), and I’m not here for perfection–I’m here for progress. So, what if you just *reduced* the amount of meat you eat? According to one study, going veggie 5 days a week and eating meat twice a week would still cut your greenhouse gas emissions (and water + land use) by 45%. For every one pound of beef consumed, 86.6 pounds of greenhouse gases are produced–that’s a lot. Ditching burgers isn’t the only way to reduce your food’s impact. Here are some of my favorite ways you can get more mindful -Eat locally and in season. Hello, farmers markets. When your food has to travel shorter distances to go from farm to fork, it has a smaller footprint. ⁃Stop buying produce in plastic. Don’t buy a bag of broccoli crowns, buy a whole head and chop the damn thing yourself! ⁃Bring a sustainable eating toolkit with you everywhere you go. I always haul around my reusable bottle, bamboo utensil set, @waamindustries snack bags, and glass straw. ⁃Buy organic whenever you can. ⁃Try Meatless Mondays! ⁃Start composting. SLC has a city-wide compost program! ⁃Stop using plastic bags. Don’t be lazy, bring your own bag. ⁃Drink more water. I’m trying to reduce my intake of La Croix and it sucks but I don’t need to create waste every time I’m thirsty. What are YOUR best tips and tricks for reducing your food’s impact on the earth? Share ‘em in the comments! PS: I want to note something importante–notice that when I talk about meat, I’m talking about livestock. Hunting can be a sustainable way to eat, and whether it’s a wild elk or a garden crop, harvesting your own food is what’s up. Thanks for coming to my #EarthDay TED Talk.

A post shared by Katie Boué (@katieboue) on

Meat-eaters especially, have been the target of many Earth Day memes. but they are not the only ones.

Several memes often satirize people’s inabilities to “be green” and keep it 100…

While others poke fun at the act of actually trying to protect the planet, often by incorporating celebrities or pop culture references.

View this post on Instagram

Legend @parishilton #earthday #dontpollute

A post shared by Victoria Germyn 🦁 (@victoriagermyn) on

View this post on Instagram

plastic pollution is so not hot!! 🐢

A post shared by ECO CHIC (@ecochicpodcast) on

Other memes enforce the idea that the Earth should be cherished every day, rather than one day a year.

Even Earth has something to say.

Though some memes are purely for entertainment, there are many Earth Day memes that point out the serious issues currently plaguing our planet.

View this post on Instagram

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing oceans to warm, they argue, bleaching the reef's corals to death Today, over 90% of the Great Barrier Reef shows evidence of bleaching following a 2016 heatwave that saw sea temperatures in Australia reach record levels, triggering the most damaging and widespread coral bleaching event on record But while some scientists fear the worst, it appears their dire predictions over the reef's future have yet to put a dent in the tourism industry. About 2.8 million people visited the marine park in 2016, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority. "There is no evidence that visitor numbers to the (area) are currently being affected by perceptions that the reef is under threat," said a Tourism Queensland spokesperson. "(We) have long marketed the Great Barrier Reef as one of our major natural attractions that visitors from around the world can experience. We will continue our marketing focus along these lines." Even so, a number of operators admit they are worried about what the future holds. Source: CNN • #Make_earth_green_again • Let’s not turn earth into one giant landfill 🗑 ♻ • ♻️🌍🐟🐢🐘🦌🐛🌿 – 🌿Repair what can be fixed 🔧 – 🌿Refuse items that you don’t need🚫 – 🌿Reduce those you do ⬛️ —▪️ – 🌿Reuse what you can 🔄. – 🌿Recycle what’s left ♻️ – 🌿Rot (compost) everything else ♻️🌍🐟🐢🐘🦌🐛🌿 • ___________________________________ 💙-.-.-.-.-.-.-🌎 💥Check out our page💥 💙-.-.-.-.-.-.-🌎 👉 @make_earth_green_again 👈 💙-.-.-.-.-.-.-🌎 🌟📸 Credit🐢: @gogreensavegreen🌟 💙-.-.-.-.-.-.-🌎 ___________________________________⁣⁣ • #ZeroWasteMemes #EarthMemes #EcoFriendlyMeme #Meme #Memes #EarthFriendly #GoGreenSaveGreen #SlutsForSustainability #SlutForSustainability #environment #environmentalist #EnvironmentallyFriendly #GoGreen #SustainableLifeStyle #Sustainableliving #sustainable #Sustainability #ecofriendly

A post shared by 🌎♥️ Make Earth Green Again ♥️🌎 (@make_earth_green_again) on

And the high key concepts that people might be missing.

Some memes are dark AF.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by AMU News (@amu__news) on

But for every dark, pessimistic Earth Day meme, there’s also an equally optimistic and sometimes inspirational meme.

View this post on Instagram

Day 22: Earth Day Play #GrinderGlamChallenge

A post shared by temptaceion (@temptaceion) on

The motivation behind many Earth Day memes is to inspire change, something Millennials and Gen Zers both respond well to.

With recent, viral internet challenges like the #TrashTag Challenge, it’s clear that the younger generations are more than willing to lend a helping hand… especially if it means getting to share their efforts on the internet. In any case, every little bit makes a difference.

Individuals and organizations are sharing tweets, memes, and social posts to offer up ideas on how people can get involved and make even the smallest difference this Earth Day.

View this post on Instagram

✨ EARTH DAY🌍 |⁣⁣ The earth is what we all have in common, it needs to be our responsibility to take good care of it.⁣⁣ This photo/project has been created by the wonderful @manuelbergmann & I had a chance to be a part it of along with these beautiful beings (all tagged on the photo).⁣⁣ •⁣⁣ I used to be quite oblivious to the things I now care & I’m so passionate about. Educating myself about them even though it’s been really empowering, at times has felt so incredibly heartbreaking & overwhelming.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ What I’m learning is that you don’t need to aim for perfection, but instead concentrate on changing seemingly small things.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ There are plenty of things we can do to take care of our planet (not just on Earth Day, but EVERYday):⁣⁣ ⁣ 🐷 Did you know that ANIMAL AGRICULTURE is the number 1 cause for climate change!!? There are things most people can do to start creating small changes. -Lowering (& learning to substitute) your animal products consumption, #MeatFreeMonday could be a great start. – Educating yourself by watching documentaries like Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and Earthlings & doing your own research.⁣⁣ ⁣ 👚 Buying less & taking care of what you already own. – When buying things that you actually need, consider buying secondhand.⁣⁣ ⁣ 🗑 Recycle. – Learn about how you can improve your recycling. – Reuse and up-cycle whatever you can. – Pick up the trash you see out and about.⁣⁣ ⁣ 🥤Reduce & learn to say NO to the single use plastic. This makes a huge difference! + Reusable products are so much more popular & accessible now.⁣⁣ ⁣ 🙏🏻Take care of your mental health. It’s important to find a healthy balance between taking care of our mental health & being an activist. Taking care of ourselves, helps the planet more than we realise. – When you take good care of yourself, appreciate yourself your body & your surrounding – you naturally want to take better care of everything around you. – By regularly recharging your own battery you are able to help the planet more!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ✨ What small changes can you implement in your life THIS WEEK?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Remember, that you have a CHOICE.⁣⁣ Your CHOICE makes a difference.⁣⁣ Choose consciously.✌🏻 ⁣⁣ ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

A post shared by 💛 Self Love & Mindset Coach 💛 (@kay_ska) on

Some groups have gone the extra mile! For example, between April 13th-28th, gamers can clean up their community while also “catching them all” on Pokemon GO.

Players can unlock in-game rewards by cleaning up Mother Earth on Earth Day.

They can track their progress and see who else is playing by using/following the hashtag #AugmentingReality on Instagram.

If that’s not enough incentive to get your Earth Day on, maybe Martha Stewart’s Bingo game will be…

Visit the Earth Day Network to discover local opportunities, national campaigns, and ways to get involved all over the world.