To raise awareness of people living sustainable lives and affected by climate change, Mother Earth Project is encouraging individuals, schools, and communities around the world to create PARACHUTES FOR THE PLANET®
(click a button below)
“Parachutes serve as the global visual language for expressing concerns about climate change. They bridge communities and organizations with a common goal, to demand better climate laws.”
– Barton Rubenstein, MEP cofounder
“I am so grateful for this project. It is beautiful and it is going to change the world. I have no doubts. Parachutes leap frogs over the blame and guilt and allows people to take action!”
– Cathy Orlando, Citizens’ Climate Lobby International Outreach Manager
(Choose your language in the above video by clicking the Settings button at bottom right)
Saving the environment is vital to our health, safety and future, and “parachutes” are a metaphor for this process. These parachutes (non-functional) are circular pieces of cloth decorated with artwork and personal comments about our concerns about the health of our planet. Parachutes can be seen as “safety nets” and when held by groups during demonstrations or collectively displayed in large numbers, they transform into powerful messages of strength, hope and communal determination.
In the 1990s, thousands of HIV/AIDS Quilts (blankets) were exhibited in Washington, DC, to bring attention to a disease that was previously not understood. The result of this exhibition was dramatic – people became more aware and governments began to fund research to find a cure. Using artwork and comments displayed on parachutes, the Mother Earth Project hopes to accomplish similar goals for saving the environment.
Make Your Parachute:
Large groups can buy a 24′ nylon parachute on Amazon. OR, you can sew bedsheets together to create a 12′ diameter circle. Parachutes with handles are best for marches.
Why do we use eco-unfriendly synthetic parachutes? See explanation at bottom.*
How To Decorate Your Parachute:
• Design Your Parachute: It’s up to you! If you are the leader, we recommend that you design a large central image or text before the decoration event begins. Below are some general guidelines to help.
• Large Central Image: Choose a local landmark, animal, or sustainable theme. It should be large so people can see it from a distance.
• Large Text Statement: Choose something powerful, like “Better Climate Laws!”
• Small Artwork and Individual Comments: Each person can write how they are living sustainably, how their local environment has been affected by climate change or a message of hope.
• Display Name and Location Along Edge: This allows others to know where the parachute was made.
• Paint and Markers: Use permanent markers, acrylic (best) and latex house paints are great choices for decorating your parachute, but make sure to thin the paint with 20% more water so that it is not too thick and so that it will penetrate THROUGH the parachute material, otherwise chipping could result later. If you choose to add photos, we recommend that you have them printed on fabric and then sewn onto the parachute. All materials sewn on the parachute must be as thin as possible and completely foldable. Tape is not recommended.
• Allow Parachute to Dry: It take at least 4 hours for paint to dry. Plan you decoration event to allow for drying before storing or transporting the parachute.
Display Your Parachute Locally and Commit to Sustainable Actions:
• Community Awareness: Display your parachutes in your community for others to see and become more aware of climate change (for example, school, library, town hall).
• Demand Better Climate Laws: Take your parachutes to you local politicians and ask for better climate laws. This is easier to do than your think. Ask us for help!
• Commit to Weekly Sustainable Actions: It may be by planting trees, sharing the Parachutes For The Planet project with other schools and clubs, changing your light bulbs to LED, picking up 10 pieces of trash daily on the streets, switching to renewable energy, asking restaurants to change their plastic cups to paper, composting your food scraps, and using your bicycle more. There are MANY things you can do to help the planet!
Add Your Parachute to Our Database
Please enter information about your parachute and sustainability focused community by clicking the below button. This information, photos and videos will be added to our Parachute Database for the world to see!
Create Your Sister Parachute Collection for Future Sustainability Events
We also are encouraging communities to begin your own parachute collection for future climate demonstrations and marches. The goal is to have ongoing sister parachute sustainability events worldwide. This is a climate revolution now!
Event Ideas with Parachutes:
• Dance with Parachutes: Hold handles and lift, rotate, do the “wave”, sing and connect! This is the BEST way to begin an event.
• Handprints on Parachutes: If you are decorating a parachute during an event, you can invite strangers to draw an outline of their hand with a permanent marker and write their name inside, to show their commitment to saving the environment. Ask them to shout, “I VOTE FOR CLIMATE!” They can also dip their hand in paint and do the same, but allow 4 hours for drying before moving the parachute. This idea has been very successful at many events.
• Beach Ball Play: Toss a beach ball from one parachute to another. This is a big hit with kids!
• Sit on Parachutes: Discuss local environmental issues, collective and individual actions such as picking up trash.
• Sing Songs from Your Community and Chant Slogans: For example, “Better Climate Laws,” “Keep the Oil in the Ground,” “There is no Planet B,” “System Change, Not Climate Change”
• March with Parachutes: Walk through your town as a group, chanting climate slogans
• Attach them to Walls at Events: With string, tie your parachutes to vertical walls to allow for better visibility, for visitors to see and read.
• Show Politicians Parachutes: Organize a meeting with local politicians with your parachutes to show them your focus and desire for better Climate Laws.
Send Us One Parachute
You can also send us ONE of your parachutes to add to our growing international collection (over 200 presently) with your contact information to:
Mother Earth Project
PO Box 70922
Bethesda, Maryland 20813, USA
We will send you an email confirming that we received your parachute. Note: We will not be able to return your parachute, but will save it for future exhibitions.
We also encourage you to photograph your parachute and post it on social media to #MyParachute and #ParachutesForThePlanet. You can create a Virtual Parachute by creating artwork or a simple written note about living sustainably or being affected by climate change and then post it.
Remember, every voice counts!
There are many examples of parachutes in our Parachute Database . Each parachute should include a LARGE CENTRAL IMAGE AND MESSAGE, SMALL ARTWORK and COMMENTS expressing how you live sustainably, are affected by climate change and a message of hope.
*Explanation of Synthetic Parachutes: At present, there are hundreds of parachutes created from reused bedsheets and cotton fabric. The problem is that cotton also has an enormous carbon footprint, it requires a lot of water to grow. And many of the countries worldwide suffer from humidity and mold issues. Cotton does not hold up well in humidity, while synthetics are quire resilient. So, MEP has decided to use synthetic fabrics because they have longevity and they can be repurposed into play parachutes that kids can enjoy for many years. And they can march with them at future sustainability events. The parachutes are not made for one event only, but for many. Also, we explored eco-friendly hemp as a material but it has no durability over time. Last, synthetics are the lightest and create the smallest carbon footprint when shipping them worldwide. Unfortunately, everything has a yin and yang, as electric cars have lithium-ion batteries that have recycling and disposal issues, but they are an excellent next step toward sustainability. We also feel using synthetic parachutes are the next best step toward beginning a climate revolution around the globe and securing a more sustainable future.