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Environmental Justice

Earth Day


a sustainable future for Black Communities

Many petrochemical refineries, fossil fuel incinerators, and unsafe pipelines are concentrated in Black communities. When Black people have a more sustainable future, it creates a cleaner, healthier community for all. 

Centering sustainable solutions means reducing pollution for Black communities, which removes many of these environmental hazards we all face across the country. We have the answers, and it's our time to amplify how a sustainable future benefits Black people.


You can fight to end our reliance on plastics in your community by taking the following actions:

  • Think twice about using that plastic bottle, bag, or utensil. Look into non-single-use options for your next party or gathering. If you attend a party, bring your own bamboo or other utensils to do your part. Many beauty products also use a lot of single-use plastics, but more and more are utilizing materials that are better for the environment. Support those companies. 
  • Host a screening of a documentary on plastics and petrochemical issues or environmental justice issues more broadly.
  • Host a river, lake, or body of water cleanup.
  • Check to see if your local elected officials are doing anything to reduce plastic use in your communities.
  • Host a creative session to allow people to share through art visual, written, or other depictions of sustainable and green infrastructure in Black communities and discuss.
  • Educate yourself on what environmental justice is, how petrochemical use harms frontline communities, and share your findings with a friend.
  • Host an event to amplify the issue.
  • Join us on social: Post a 30-60 second video of yourself showcasing how you're getting involved in your community and tag @NAACP on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Highlighting Environmental Issues

Purple Scribble

Earth Day Facts

Many plastics, including certain biodegradable plastics, contain fossil fuel ingredients. Fossil fuels account for nearly 75% of all greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions cause extreme weather and issues like sea level rise. Black communities are disproportionately harmed by natural disasters due to the high level of emissions in Black communities.

headshot of Abre Conner

Black innovators are building products with less plastic, that are solar and wind powered, and clean water solutions. Earth Day is important to our communities because we have continuously demonstrated that we have a vision for what clean air, water, and soil can look like for Black people.  

- Abre Conner, Director, Center for Environmental and Climate Justice
Young Adults Protesting - Holding Signs About the Environment

A Global Solution

There's a better alternative for plastic pollution that doesn't solely rely on recycling. Since only 9% of all plastic waste is recycled worldwide, 91% ends up as trash or in landfills. 

Global leaders, along with scientists and advocates, are now working on a legally binding treaty under the United Nations to end plastic waste.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

Six Months Until Election Day

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