Earth Optimism

Earth Optimism celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution, from a sense of loss to one of hope, in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability. Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Commons, aims to share stories of success that can inspire, be replicated, and scale with communities across the country.

Get Involved

Join the conversation
Share your own Earth Optimism success stories by following @EarthOptimism and using the hashtag #EarthOptimism!

Collaborate with your community
As we’ve all read, our environment has been experiencing some big changes during the global pandemic–less pollution, lower carbon dioxide levels, and even cleaner waterways in some areas. Affiliations has received a grant to work with nine Affiliates and their teen audiences to document these and other environmental changes they are experiencing in their communities.

Click the button below to see project details, or email Jennifer Brundage, National Outreach Manager at with further questions.

Resources you can use

Watch videos from the 2020 Earth Optimism Digital Summit
Individual session videos are available on the Earth Optimism Summit playlist.

Review resources from the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC)
Check out  Smithsonian Science for Global Goals guide on working with students to create action plans around sustainability issues.

Point your teachers and school groups to the Smithsonian Learning Lab
The Smithsonian’s online portal for educators has over 1900 resources on Earth Day (artifact images, videos, photographs and more). As an example, click through their Earth Day: Highlights Collection.

Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Resource Center studying marsh grass. Photo by Steve Sniteman.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab has thousands of media resources for teachers to use around the history of Earth Day, sustainability, and conservation problems and solutions.