SEATTLE – On Earth Day 2021, Green Party of Seattle [GPSEA, sounds like jip’See] members participated at an event organized by 350Seattle. Climate Action Allies Extinction Rebellion [XR Seattle], the Backbone Campaign Kayaktivists, 350Seattle, and GPSEA came together as climate allies to protest proposed increased cruise ship and fossil fuel tanker traffic in the Salish Sea. This would be a further assault on our resident Orcas and an already stressed ecosystem.
GPSEA also came to celebrate Earth Day with a simple but positive action; planting Sunflowers.
We gave away non-GMO sunflower seeds in envelopes we had labeled for the occasion. To bring attention to our giveaway we built a large sunflower puppet prop. CJ is a fabric artist and puppet maker and created a harness to wear the giant flower as well. 350Seattle invited CJ to participate in the happy ending portion of a skit they were performing about the effects of fossil fuel pollution on our beautiful Salish Sea.
Sunflowers are native to North America as well as being an emblem of Green politics worldwide. International Guerrilla Sunflower Gardening Day is May 1st. Between Earth Day and May 1st we also planted seeds in Discovery Park and Seattle city median strips and public places. Sunflowers help to detoxify soil, sink carbon, feed animals and birds, and their pollen increases the resilience of bees with medicinal effects for their immune systems.
This was a simple Earth Day project that Greens could work on in small groups. Buy non-GMO sunflower seeds from an organic grower, in bulk. We used paper envelopes cut in half and put a spoon of seed in each, and sealed them with Earth Day stickers and planting instruction labels. We had prepared Sunflower trivia questions based on our blog post, but did not use them. We used fabric, wire, PVC and some other found materials to make a big bright sunflower with a ‘G’ on the back to attract attention. We did attract attention. On Earth Day we gave away seed packets to event participants as well as people in the Seattle Sculpture Garden and along the Seattle Waterfront downtown. We told people that even without a yard they can plant them in any public space as a gift to Earth Mother. Cultivate Sustainability.