Go wild for Earth Day

Let’s craft a better world together – quietly, there are wardens in it now

Today is Earth Day, which is a great opportunity to roll around in the mud and try to get your arms all the way around the planet for a big bear hug. If this task seems daunting and almost like a prank that a team of writers would pull on their beloved colleague, we have prepared a few other suggestions to mark Earth Day as well. One of the things this day inspires is reflection and research, but since Earth is almost as big as the Overworld it can be difficult to decide where to start. Why not draw inspiration from the upcoming Wild Update and learn how a swamp ecosystem functions? Or transform every room into the deep dark by turning off the lights when you leave it. Don’t worry, the warden doesn’t spawn in the real world so it’s totally safe. The possibilities are endless, and luckily most of them don’t include the hostile mobs.

I’ve always been a fan of turtles, and not just because they’re much less threatening than a warden. I mean, just look at their babies!!! Too pure and perfect. That’s why whenever I encounter turtles in Minecraft, I must settle down and protect them at all costs, regardless of what my initial goal was.

That’s why my first reaction to the Turtle Playset was “awww, for meee?” Because it makes me feel seen as a turtle foster mom. Not to mention that it acts as a really cool underwater base for Steve. But by far the coolest thing about it is that Mattel highlights that it’s made of at least 20% ocean-bound plastic (OBP). What does that mean? According to Zero Plastic Oceans, OBP is plastic waste defined as “at risk of ending up in the ocean”. OBP is estimated to generate 80% of plastic marine litter. You can find the playset, alongside a selection of sustainable Minecraft merch, here.

Sadly, OBP is not the only threat to real-life sea turtles’ habitat. From poaching to accidental capture, humans have significantly contributed to the decline of turtle populations. And while turtles spend most of their time in the water, one essential part of their lives takes place on land: laying their eggs. The sex of hatchlings is determined by the temperature of the sand, which is a really cool and weird fact, but it also means that their breeding habits are affected by global warming. Three out of the seven species of turtles in our ocean waters are now critically endangered.  

But I’m not just here to bring your mood down. While the situation is critical, there are things you can do to protect sea turtles. From adopting a turtle from a charity (only on paper as a sponsor, mind you – don’t go scooping up turtles from beaches), donating to environmental charities and conservation institutions like aquariums, or simply just educating yourself and your friends to make sustainable choices. And please, always steer clear of turtle nests! The beach areas where turtles lay their eggs are clearly marked and shouldn’t be disturbed under any circumstances. Think of the babies!

And speaking of learning, we all know by now that Minecraft: Education Edition is a pretty cool way to deep dive into important subjects. The Minecraft Education team has recently launched Climate Futures: Transportation, a brand-new lesson in partnership with the Met Office, where you explore different timelines to see the impact of our transportation and energy choices on the environment and build a sustainable vehicle. Then, there’s Rivercraft, a world created by the UK’s Environment Agency in partnership with Microsoft that explores the implications of flooding and how we can mitigate its effects. And finally, you have Save the Ocean, a new build challenge created by Workbench that offers learners the opportunity to build a vehicle that removes plastics from the world’s oceans – where the turtles just so happen to live. You didn’t think I’d forgotten about the turtles, did you?

To learn even more about creating a sustainable future, check out Sustainability City, We Are the Rangers, The Biodiversity lesson pack, The Climate Futures: Farm and Forest, and the Peace with Nature Challenge.

There is a lot to think about today – it’s a big world! But that doesn’t mean that this task is daunting, if everyone takes one step we’ll come a long way together. But remember, if you take those steps in the deep dark, make sure they’re quiet ones.  

Written By
Cristina Anderca, Sofia Dankis