The Washington Post

Earth Day: An eye-catching Google Doodle, and a plea to go outside

Appreciating our literal place in the world is easier said than done, and that’s evidenced by related writing on our Web site. While Joel Achenbach dedicates his Earth Day energy to talking his readers off the ledge — did you know our nation’s mood is at the lowest level in two years? — Elizabeth Flock takes a more skeptical approach, wondering if Earth Day is even still worth celebrating at all (by the way, use #wpearthday to give us your opinion on Twitter!).

Oddly enough, today’s Google Doodle provided me with a five minute respite from the cynicism. Mouse over the tiny ecosystem and the animals swim, roar, fly and basically complete their mini circles of life before your very eyes.

As I sit here fiddling with a doodle that lives behind my computer screen, I realize that this might be indicative of a sorry state of affairs as far as Earth Day is concerned. We’ve all come a long way from 1970, when the inaugural Earth Day was celebrated with a huge, rip-roaring Philadelphia rally and an estimated 20 million participants across America. (National Geographic has some amazing photos here.) Simply put, in this digital age, at a time when we probably need something like Earth Day more than ever, unless the planet is literally imploding in front of our faces, we can’t be bothered to take notice.

But maybe that’s the American moodiness talking. Though Earth Day might now seem a bit middle-aged, maybe us Google Doodle aficionados are the ones who are out of touch. There are still activists among us, and they’re all over the world. While the rest of us digitally debate the days merits, lots of people actually get up and take themselves outside. Here’s what that might look like:

Environmental activists in Seoul. (JO YONG-HAK/REUTERS)


The weight of the world in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. (YUSUF AHMAD/REUTERS)

In closing, here’s my BlogPost-approved prescription for you: Enjoy the digital world Google has doodled and tell us how you feel about Earth Day by using #wpearthday on Twitter.

Then, for the love of all things Mother Earth, go have lunch outside.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.