Earth Day 2021: Google Doodle illustrated video encourages everyone to plant more trees

For Earth Day 2021, Google has published a Google Doodle video on its homepage that stresses the need for everyone to plant more trees. Designed and conceptualised by artist Sophie Diao, the Google Doodle illustrated video appears as an animation on the Google homepage, showing a woman indulging in some leisure reading under a tree, with a little girl – who appears to be the woman’s daughter – on the other side of the tree carrying a new sapling that is to be planted, with a sole leaf blowing across the frame with the wind.

The Earth Day 2021 Google Doodle video aims to encourage more people to plant trees. Image: Google/Sophie Diao

The video itself carries a vital message – it shows a girl planting a sapling, and a time-lapse sequence shows how she grows up along with the sapling, caring for it consistently over time, which blossoms into a full-sized tree. The video then shows the woman passing saplings onto her offspring, who similarly grows along with the sapling through the course of his life. The practice is passed on through several generations, leading to a greener environment full of trees, and the video ends with tree branches shaped to spell out 'Google'.

“This year’s annual Earth Day Doodle highlights how everyone can plant the seed to a brighter future, one sapling at a time. The planet we call home continues to nurture life and inspire wonder. Our environment works hard to sustain us, which calls for us to return the favor. Today’s video Doodle shows a variety of trees being planted within natural habitats, one of the many ways we can do our part to keep our Earth healthy for future generations. This Earth Day — and everyday — we encourage everyone to find one small act they can do to restore our Earth. It’s bound to take root and blossom into something beautiful”, said Google about its Earth Day 2021 doodle.

Speaking about the inspiration behind this doodle, Diao said she focused on reforestation techniques and stories of people who cared for trees throughout their lives.

“I knew I wanted to create a narrative about the importance of trees, so I started by researching everything I could about reforestation techniques and best practices. I was inspired by the stories of people who had planted trees when they were very young and cared for them throughout their lives, and people — sometimes as a community, other times working individually — who made it a goal to reforest a place, whether it be one the densest cities in the world or an arid desert that used to be lush and green”, said Diao.

“Once I had the seed of the idea of animating a little girl growing old with a tree, the rest of the Doodle story fell into place very naturally. One person can pass a sapling to someone else, and trees can sustain through many generations of human lives. Even if each person just plants one tree, if you share it with enough people, eventually you can create an entire forest”, Diao added.

Earth Day was conceptualised by Gaylord Nelson, a US statesman from Wisconsin. The first Earth Day was celebrated on 22 April, 1970, when an estimated 20 million Americans joined a movement to promote a greener future.

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