The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Manny Rin, PIRG Campus Action Organizing Director,, 925-234-1457
Andrea McGimsey, Environment America Global Warming Solutions Senior Director,, 703-477-4722
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager,, 303-573-5558

Students Host Hundreds of Local Actions for Youth Earth Week

Young activists host week of action to call for environmental protections.


The Student PIRGs, a student environmental organizing group, is partnering with local organizations, student governments and elected officials to host in-person and virtual actions to celebrate Youth Earth Week, a national effort of more than 250 actions around the country to protect the environment, from April 19 to 23.

Since Earth Day was first observed in 1970, students have been on the forefront of change to protect our environment. Amid numerous environmental crises, from climate change and air and water pollution to the destruction of ecosystems critical to all life on Earth, this generation is taking action.

Despite the pandemic which has limited face-to-face advocacy, young people are still finding ways to organize their communities to protect the environment. Here are some of the actions taking place during Youth Earth Week (interviews with student event organizers are available):

Clean energy events and actions:

California climate action summit

From California's commitment in 2018 to 100 percent clean electricity with the passage of SB 100, to Gov. Gavin Newsom's recent announcement to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles after 2035, California has been at the forefront of progress -- but there's more to do. That is why this Earth Day, as we celebrate victories of the past, CALPIRG Students and other activists in California are hosting the California Climate Action Summit to call on state leaders to speed up our transition to a 100 percent clean renewable energy future. The virtual event will bring together hundreds of student activists, climate experts and policy leaders from across California for a day of advocacy workshops, themed panels and discussions on climate solutions and clean energy.

  • Who:
    • Mayor of San Diego Todd Gloria
    • California Assemblymember David Chiu
    • Co-founder of the 100% Clean Renewable Energy Movement Mark Jacobson
  • Where: Virtual - RSVP
  • When: Thursday, April 22

MASSPIRG panel for 100 percent renewables

Join MASSPIRG Students to discuss the future of 100 percent renewable energy in Massachusetts. The panel will discuss the importance of climate activism and the current work being done on climate change and renewable energy at both the campus and statewide level to pass the 100% Clean Act (HD.3551, SD.2205). That legislation aims to transition Massachusetts to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean heating and transportation by 2045.

  • Who:
    • Massachusetts State Rep. Mindy Domb
    • University of Massachusetts - Amherst Deputy Chancellor Steve Goodwin
    • University of Massachusetts - Amherst Sustainability Manager Ezra Small
  • Where: Virtual - RSVP
  • When: Thursday, April 22, 6pm ET

University of South Florida renewables roundtable: How to transition USF to 100 percent renewable energy

Join us for a discussion between faculty and students at the University of South Florida about how to transition our community away from depending on dirty fossil fuels and move toward a greener brighter future powered by renewable energy.

  • Who:
    • Director of the Clean Energy Research Center Dr. Lee Elisa Stefanakos
    • Director of Sustainable Tourism and Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Action Alliance Dr. Brooke Hansen
    • Florida PIRG Student Coordinator Isabella Saldariagga
  • Where: Virtual - email Crystal Boutwell, to RSVP
  • When: Wednesday, April 21, 2pm ET

Zero waste events and actions:

Connecticut "Slash the Trash" webinar and discussion

CONNPIRG Students at Trinity College is hosting a "Slash the Trash" webinar with a panel of local environmental leaders and elected officials to discuss initiatives to move Connecticut to zero waste. The effort in Connecticut to ban polystyrene, commonly described as Styrofoam, one of the worst forms of plastic, is gaining momentum. Young people are advocating for the passage of a newly introduced statewide ban on polystyrene to protect the environment for years to come.

  • Who:
    • State Senator Will Haskell
    • State Representative and House Chair of the State Environment Committee Joe Gresko
    • A representative from Blue Earth Compost
  • Where: Virtual - email Fiona McElroy, to RSVP
  • When: Thursday, April 22, 12:30pm ET

Student voter engagement events and action:

Michigan student activism conference

Michigan students will participate in an activism conference to learn about local environmental issues and skills to run effective campaigns to make an impact. In Michigan, voter participation among young people between 18 and 29 years old increased by 12 percentage points from 2016 to 2020. With civic engagement at an all time high in the state, students are primed to take further action on issues like protecting the environment.

  • Who: Speakers from local environmental organizations will present from
    • PIRGIM Campus Action
    • Michigan Student Power Network
    • Rise
    • Campus Election Project
  • Where: Virtual - RSVP
  • When: Sunday, April 18, 11am ET

Other events are planned in additional states as thousands of students will participate in hundreds of actions during Youth Earth Week. These range from local beach cleanups to virtual advocacy days and from environmental movie screenings to educational panels. If you are interested in more information on the time and locations for these local events or would like to speak with student organizers, please contact Manny Rin at

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

(303) 801-0581