A Call To Action
To raise awareness about the climate emergency, the Mother Earth Project is encouraging individuals, schools, and communities around the world to create
PARACHUTES FOR THE PLANET®
Join our parachute project and make an impact on the world!
Parachutes are a metaphor for bringing the planet back to a safe place, a sustainable world that is vital to our health, safety and future. Play parachutes (non-functional) are circular pieces of cloth decorated with artwork and collective commitments to sustainable actions. Decorating parachutes is a powerful activity of sharing and learning and it strengthens a community’s focus on taking action and demanding better environmental laws.
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. Like the quilts, parachutes act as a catalyst for activating communities and governments to become more sustainable.
Decorate Your Parachute:
Seven Easy Steps:
• Buy or Create a Parachute: Click the button below or you can sew bedsheets together to create a 12′ (4 meter) diameter circle. Parachutes with handles are best for strikes/marches. We recommend 10-20 people working on each 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 and Statement: Choose a local landmark, animal, or sustainable theme and a powerful statement like, “Better Climate Laws.” It should be large so people can see it from a distance.
• Sustainable Actions: Each community member should write about their individual and collective next sustainable actions.
• Display Name and Location Along Edge: This allows others to know where the parachute was made.
• Paint and Markers: Use permanent or fabric markers. Acrylic (best) and latex house paints are also great choices, but make sure to thin the paint with 10% 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. Tape is not recommended.
• Allow Parachute to Dry: It takes at least 4 hours for paint to dry. Plan you decoration event to allow for drying before storing or transporting the parachute.
(Choose your language in the above video by clicking the Settings button at bottom right)
Event Ideas with Parachutes
• Parachute Sit Down: Take 10 minutes to sit as a group around the edge of your parachute, introduce yourselves to each other, discuss your personal environmental concerns and emotions, past and future sustainable actions, and where you come from. This event is typically a very powerful bonding moment.
• Handprint Pledge – A CALL TO ACTION!: If you are decorating a parachute during an event or with a group, you can invite participants to draw an outline of their hand with a permanent marker, color the inside, and write their NEXT SUSTAINABLE ACTION and name around the outside. Before the event it is recommended to create a large central image with “A Call To Action” written on the shape. This idea has been very successful at many events. Click and printout the below posters for your event!
• March/Strike with Greta! Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has awakened the world to the Climate Emergency and now young people worldwide are gathering on Fridays to raise environmental awareness and demand politicians to take action. These are fun events of togetherness, as well as feeling empowered by being a part of a global movement. Find a march/strike on the map at FridaysForFuture.org and bring your parachute and join other youth climate activists! You can also organize and register a march/strike at your school, club, company, community center. Even standing together with your parachute next to your school cafeteria for five minutes during lunch on a Friday counts as a “strike.”
• March and Sing with Parachutes: Hold handles and lift and drop the parachute, rotate it, do the “wave”, sing and connect! March through your town and chant slogans, such as “NO ACTION – NO FUTURE,” “Keep the Oil in the Ground,” “There is no Planet B,” “System Change, Not Climate Change.”
• Create Your Own Parachute Collection: We are encouraging communities to create their own collection of parachutes for future climate strikes/marches.
• Show Politicians Parachutes: Take your parachutes to your local politicians and DEMAND BETTER CLIMATE LAWS. Show them your parachute and say, “Listen to what our community is saying!”
• Commit to Sustainable Actions: The United Nations has designated 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, that you can choose from. It may be planting trees, sharing the Parachutes For The Planet project with other schools and clubs, changing your light bulbs to LED, picking up 1-10 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!
• Beach Ball Play: Toss a beach ball from one parachute to another. This is a big hit with kids!
• Attach Parachutes to Walls at Events: With string or tape, attach your parachutes to vertical surfaces to allow for better visibility.
• Age Appropriate Ideas for Events: Each community is unique, but we recommend a Parachute Sit Down for all, and different age-appropriate sustainable actions depending on the willingness of the participants. The longer amount of time you have, the more creative and beautiful your parachute will become! This should be a fun event filled with both discussion and action. As Greta Thunberg says, “Hope follows from Action…”
Send Us One Parachute
You can also send us ONE of your parachutes to add to our growing international collection (over 250 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 strikes and exhibitions.
“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
Share Your Parachute with Our Community
Please enter information about your parachute and your sustainability focused community by clicking the below button. This information, as well as your photos and videos will be added to our Parachute Community Database for the world to see!
Virtual Parachutes for Social Media
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 your sustainable actions and then post it.
Remember, every voice counts!
“Parachutes serve as the global visual language for committing to sustainable actions. They bridge communities and countries with a common goal, to live more sustainably and to demand better climate laws.”
– Barton Rubenstein, Mother Earth Project cofounder