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The best ads from the weirdest Earth Day in its 50-year history

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By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

April 22, 2020 | 3 min read

Today (22 April) marks 50 years since the first Earth Day celebrations took place in the US. Outraged by oil spills, smog, and polluted rivers, on this day in 1970, 20 million (10% of the US population) came out in the spring sunshine to demonstrate together.

Markus Spiske

Image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash

Fast forward to the present day and celebrations are a little weirder this year, with the pandemic shifting activation online and forcing people to gather virtually.

Earth Day - April 22, 1970

As the pandemic continues across the globe, leaving a huge death toll and decimated businesses in its wake, one flickering light at the end of the tunnel is that it has given the earth some well needed fresh air. Yet, with the world ground to a halt, environmentalists are left deliberating whether the clearer seas and improved air quality will just be a temporary fix.

2019 was a landmark year for environmental activism, from the first Extinction Rebellion takeover in April, to the Climate Strikes in October. And while it's easy to get swept up in coronavirus and the news that well-needed climate talks will be delayed in 2020 - a number of brands and activists groups are getting behind Earth Day 2020 to remind people that when the pandemic becomes a distant memory, the problem of environment will still persist.

Handpicked below, are the best 50th-anniversary campaigns so far.

Stella McCartney: Every Day is Earth Day

Overall Rating 3/5

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Apple: Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

By Apple

Overall Rating 3/5

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Fridays for Future: Our House in on Fire

By Fridays for Future

Overall Rating 5/5

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Hulu: Earth Day Collection

By Hulu

Overall Rating 3/5

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Sodastream: One Home, One Planet

By Sodastream

Overall Rating 3/5

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Life Lines by Wunderman Thompson

Overall Rating 5/5

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Timberland: Caring is No Longer Enough by SMALL

By Timberland

Overall Rating 4/5

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NASA: #EarthDayAtHome

By NASA

Overall Rating 5/5

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