Celebrating Earth Day with Population Connection

Population Connection members came out in full force to celebrate Earth Day this year—125 volunteers hosted tables at 32 events in 30 cities across 16 states! Local Earth Day celebrations serve as the perfect platform for our dedicated members to reach their communities, fostering awareness about the many environmental and social implications of global population growth.

One of the most popular activities to drive the population message home proved to be PopEd’s #MyPopNumber activity. Visitors entered their birth dates to identify where they fit into our current population of 7.7 billion. This innovative, interactive activity personalizes just how rapidly human population has grown within each of our lifetimes—and it has more than doubled since the first Earth Day in 1970!

Attendees at Earth Fair Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Attendees at Earth Day in Santa Cruz, CA

“I tried ‘What’s your Pop#?’ and found people loved it. As I myself was born in 1950, I was able to point out to the majority that population doubled from the time I was born to when they were born.”

–Jana Pellusch, Houston, TX

Some members found even more creative ways to draw people to their Population Connection tables—including juggling!

Member and volunteer Middy Streeter, New York, NY.
Middy performed several juggling acts to bring attention to his Population Connection table.

Our members reported that the most rewarding part of their experience, by far, was watching others make the “population connection” between human population growth and so many of the dire issues facing our planet today. Here’s just a selection of visitors’ reactions, after learning more about population issues:

Ashland, OR: “I connect with climate change because I want a sustainable future!”

Ashland, OR: “I connect with family planning.”

Santa Cruz, CA: “I connect with the loss of habitat with urban sprawl.”

Tabling is one of the most engaging outreach tools we have, since it facilitates one-on-one conversations in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Here’s what our members had to say about their experiences this year:

Population Connection volunteers at Santa Cruz Earth Day talk to a festival-goer
seated, from left: Sue Becker, Jill Glinghofer, Keith Emmons

“Elaine and I both enjoyed how well the table was prepared and [how well it] readied us to talk with the Earth Day attendees. The ‘pop number’ was a great tool to draw passers-by to the table.”

–Keith Emmons, Santa Cruz, CA

“We had many productive conversations and positive responses to our message. A number signed the petition opposing the Global Gag Rule. Several expressed interest in learning more … and said they planned to learn more online about us and about the need to reduce rapid population growth.”

–Gail Kainen, Granby, MA

“Lots of people, beautiful weather, and much interest in all things Earth Day. Pretty sure at least 200 people stopped by our tent to chat and inquire. About 40 signed the [#Fight4HER] petition, and included their emails. While many passing by hadn’t heard of Population Connection, all were supportive of our cause. But the number unaware of, say, the relationship between population growth and climate change was alarming.”

–Jeff Terril, Fort Collins, CO

Population Connection volunteers at Tucson Earth Day
standing, from left: Keith Kaback, Julian P. Donahue, Michael Tamarack
seated, from left: Mary Broughton, Kathy Donahue

All in all, members tabled at events in:

Tucson, AZ San Diego, CA Ft. Lauderdale, FL Silver City, NM Silverton, OR Bellingham, WA
Berkeley, CA San Francisco, CA Orlando, FL Las Vegas, NV Nashville, TN
Los Altos, CA San Luis Obispo, CA Pensacola, FL Corning, NY Austin, TX
Modesto, CA Santa Cruz, CA Watkinsville, GA New York, NY Corpus Christi, TX
Quincy, CA Fort Collins, CO Amherst, MA Cincinnati, OH Houston, TX
Sacramento, CA Grand Junction, CO St. Louis, MO Ashland, OR Salt Lake City, UT

We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of our members and volunteers who took the time to help their communities make the “population connection” this Earth Day. Together, they reached nearly 8,000 people, and gathered over 550 signatures on our #Fight4HER petition, which calls for a permanent ban of the Global Gag Rule and for increased funding for international family planning.

Are you ready to help your community make the “population connection”? Our Membership Relations team can help you get involved in your local community. Click here for more resources, or contact our coordinators at engage@popconnect.org.

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Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America's voice for population stabilization—we are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States! As a 501(c)(3) charity, all donations made to us are tax-deductible.

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