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Earth Day 2024: The key eco events happening across London this April

All the key environmental dates for your diary this Earth Month

With the arrival of Earth Day 2024 on Monday 22 April, all thoughts inevitably turn to the climate crisis we currently find ourselves embroiled in. There has never been a more urgent time to examine the impact we are having on our environment and look at the changes we can all make in our daily lives. Across the month of April – now dubbed ‘Earth Month’ – there’s a host of activities taking place in the capital that put the future of our planet at their forefront.

When is Earth Day 2024?

This year, Earth Day takes place on Monday 22 April 2024. Earth Day falls on the same date every year and began over 50 years ago, on 22 April 1970, when 20 million people in America took to the streets to protest for environmental reform, in what would become the world’s first Earth Day.

Earth Day 2024: Discover The Best Earth Day Events In LondonPin
Bamboo as Method by Zheng Bo in the Somerset House Courtyard. The installation runs from 22nd February to 28 April 2024. Photo by David Parry

What is Earth Day 2024?

The brainchild of US Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was founded in the aftermath of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and led to the creation of landmark environmental laws and the Environmental Protection Agency. Fast forward five decades and the global movement is stronger than ever, with more than a billion people coming together around the world each year to show their support for the environment. With global marches, poignant petitions and impactful clean-ups, it’s become the largest civic observance in the world.

This year, the theme for Earth Day 2024 is ‘Planet vs. Plastics’ and as part of that, the team behind Earth Day is demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. “The word environment means what surrounds you. Now plastics do more than surround us; we have become the product itself – it flows through our blood stream, adheres to our internal organs, and carries with it heavy metals known to cause cancer and disease,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earthday.org. “The Planet vs. Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastics and safeguard the health of every living being upon our planet.”  

Earth Day’s organisers have suggested plenty of ways for people to get involved, from downloading their handy toolkit to signing the global plastics treaty and protecting endangered species. You could also write to your local MP and donate to environmental charities, such as GreenpeaceFriends of the Earth and the Rainforest Alliance.

There are numerous other ways you can celebrate and mark the day in London, with brilliant events popping up across the capital. From the launch of the first-ever Earthfest in King’s Cross to an immersive art installation at Somerset House, these are the key Earth Day events in London.

The Glossary Edit

Earth Day 2024 Events in London

Earthfest in King’s Cross

18 – 21 April

Ahead of Earth Day 2024, non-profit organisation Camden Clear Air Initiative has organised the first-ever Earthfest, a weekend-long festival that addresses the current climate crisis in an interactive and engaging way. The event will pull together an impressive roster of speakers covering everything from green AI to sustainable beauty, as well as climate-focused workshops and immersive exhibitions.

Earth Day 2024: Discover The Best Earth Day Events In LondonPin

There’ll also be a fashion zone where you can discover sustainable brands and repair or donate any well-loved pieces, while elsewhere you can listen to talks by leading experts at the Future of Greentech summit. The first two days are invite-only, but all the events on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April are open to the public. 

earthfest.world

Zheng Bo: Bamboo as Method at Somerset House

Until 28 April

Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo is the latest creative to tackle the annual Somerset House Courtyard Commission Series, which champions innovative thinking across sustainability and ecology. For his large-scale commission, Bo has transformed Somerset House’s iconic neo-classical courtyard into a bamboo garden, a peaceful space where visitors can disconnect from their hectic, fast-paced lives by immersing themselves in nature.

Earth Day 2024: Discover The Best Earth Day Events In LondonPin

As part of that practice, visitors are encouraged to sit down and draw the variety of bamboo leaves that surround them. Once completed, these are then deposited for decomposition to fertilise the garden, completing a loop of creativity and ecology. For Earth Day 2024 Somerset House will be hosting a series of special drawing sessions with the artist himself, with free workshops taking place throughout the day on 22 April. 

somersethouse.org.uk

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum

Until 30 June

This annual photography exhibition at the Natural History Museum is a must-visit and is always filled with spellbinding imagery of the natural world. The photographs on show cover all of the planet’s many habitats, from dense urban metropolises and arid deserts to the deep polar seas. Along the way you get to meet the creatures that live in these places, as well as discover the species currently at risk of extinction.

Earth Day 2024: Discover The Best Earth Day Events In LondonPin
Nima Sarikhani, Polar Bear Sleeping on an Iceberg Wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award

As part of the exhibition, you’ll also get to see first-hand how human activities, both good and bad, are shaping the natural world we rely on. The images on display are never short of awe-inspiring, and you’re guaranteed to leave with a renewed sense of wonder about the world, as well as a profound sense of how important it is to protect it. 

nhm.ac.uk

Stop and Smell the Flowers by Holly Graham

Ongoing

London is well known for its street art – just look at the latest Banksy mural that just popped up in Finsbury Park – and now there’s a new climate-focused addition to add into the mix. Over in Edgware, artist Holly Graham has created a site-specific work entitled ‘Stop and Smell the Flowers’, which tackles the climate emergency through the lens of access to clean air and green space.

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Painted in collage style on a wall in the heart of Edgware Town Centre, the mural was created in collaboration with 75 local young people, who took part in a series of workshops led by Graham. There, they learned how to use creative wordplay and collage to create their own advertising posters that promoted a vision for a green future for Edgware. The resulting artwork highlights the importance of taking time out to enjoy nature while also bringing to mind the phrase ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ – with the implication being that if we don’t, it might be too late. 

upprojects.com

Burtynsky: Extraction / Abstraction at the Saatchi Gallery

Until 4 May

This show at the Saatchi Gallery marks the largest exhibition ever mounted in the four decade-long career of the world-renowned photographic artist Edward Burtynsky, who has dedicated his practice to bearing witness to the impact of human industry on the planet. The exhibition features 94 of Burtynsky’s large-format photographs, as well as 13 high-resolution murals and an augmented reality (AR) experience.

Earth Day 2024: Discover The Best Earth Day Events In LondonPin
© Edward Burtynsky

Each of Burtynsky’s vast images is completely captivating, highlighting humanity’s incursion into the natural world and the environmental consequences of industrial processes. “I have spent over 40 years bearing witness to how modern civilisation has dramatically transformed our planet,” says Burtynsky of the show. “At this time, the awareness of these issues presented by my large format images has never felt more urgent.” 

saatchigallery.com

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