Are you looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day on April 22? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of fun and environmentally-conscious things you can do on Earth Day to help raise awareness and make a difference. If you’re ready to learn more about joining the global celebration, initiating real change, and doing your part to save our planet, read on!
Walk or ride your bike.
- Going car-free for the day will reduce harmful carbon emissions. Even one day can make a difference, but if you can commit to walking or biking more often in the future, that’s even better! If your daily commute is too far for walking/biking, try these environmentally-conscious alternatives:
- Public transportation like buses, trains, or shuttles
- Carpooling with coworkers, friends, or schoolmates
- Consider investing in an electric or hybrid car in the future
Go on a nature walk.
- Get out there and appreciate our beautiful world. Spending time in nature is a fun and easy way to celebrate Earth Day! There are so many ways you can enjoy the great outdoors, so pick something that makes sense for your schedule and lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Hike the nature trails at your local park
- Go bird watching
- Visit a nearby botanical garden
- Plan a beach day with your friends or family
Plant a tree.
- This simple act will benefit the environment for decades. Planting a tree only takes a few minutes, but it can make a huge impact. Trees are crucial because they help to save energy, clean pollution, prevent erosion, and provide homes for many birds, insects, and other local wildlife.
- Pick a tree species that’s native to where you live. If you’re unsure, ask an employee at your local nursery or garden department.
- Choose the best planting spot to meet the tree’s needs, dig a properly-sized hole, and water the tree well to give it a good start.
- Earth Day roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, so see if your community is holding a tree-planting event and join up.
- If physically planting a tree is unrealistic for you there are other options. Please consider donating to a reputable environmental non-profit that will plant trees on your behalf instead. Carbonfund has planted over 1.6 million trees around the world as part of their carbon neutrality projects.
Pick up litter in your community.
- You can do this as an individual or join a community group. Taking a moment to pick up any litter you see as you’re out and about on Earth Day is helpful and easy to do. Many local environmental groups organize bigger events where you can join a team and clear roadways, highways, and neighborhood streets of litter, so see if your local community is hosting anything.
Scatter wildflower seeds.
- Be sure to choose flowers that are native to your area. Restoring local plant life will help attract native bird life, pollinators, and local mammals. Wildflowers are extra easy to grow—many wildflower seeds can be scattered freely since they’ll take root on their own and require no tending. Be sure to check the seed packet for instructions, though! Scatter or plant seeds in your garden, backyard, or along nature strips and roadways.
- To attract Monarch butterflies, plant milkweed and brightly colored wildflowers.
- Bees are attracted to white, yellow, blue, and purple blooms.
- To attract hummingbirds, plant foxglove, honeysuckle, or lilies.
Make a bird feeder.
- This is a fun project for kids of all ages. You can do a lot for the creatures of the earth starting in your own backyard or neighborhood. Adding bird feeders and birdhouses are simple ways to attract more wildlife to your area. You can make super simple bird feeders out of milk jugs and other recycled materials. Here are some other ideas you can try:
- Attract wildlife by providing a birdbath or small pond
- Leave sections of your yard unmowed to attract bees and butterflies
- Install feeders for bats, squirrels, hummingbirds, or other local critters
Visit a local farmer’s market.
- Eating locally grown food is much better for the environment. For example, locally-grown food doesn’t have to be transported long distances to end up on grocery store shelves. You’ll also be giving back to your community by supporting local farmers.
- Some grocery stores have a section devoted to locally-grown foods.
Post a call-to-action on social media.
- Spread awareness by sharing an Earth Day message. Share something educational, like a video about climate change or rainforest preservation. If you’d rather do something more interactive, use the hashtag #EarthDayChallenge and encourage your followers to commit to one simple act, like picking up 15 pieces of litter, as a way to celebrate Earth Day.
- For an easy way to raise awareness (on Earth Day and beyond), sign up for EarthDay.org’s Social Squad to receive a weekly social media post to share. For more information, visit https://action.earthday.org/social_squad_signup.
Attend a local Earth Day event.
- See if your community is holding an environmental fair. If your community doesn’t have one planned, consider starting one yourself. It’s the perfect day to get together for a fun and educational celebration of the earth. Any money raised can go towards a local environmental restoration project or group. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Demonstrations of environmentally-friendly products
- Stalls for recycling appliances and books
- Local organizations presenting educational information
- Local farmers setting up booths to sell fresh produce
Carry reusable plastic or cloth bags.
- This is another super simple way to make a difference. Did you know that most plastic bags are used for about 10-20 minutes, only to end up in a landfill for hundreds of years? Since humans use 4 trillion plastic bags a year, this is a big problem—especially since plastic bags can’t be recycled at facilities. Saving and reusing plastic bags is an easy solution you can incorporate today. You can also buy reusable cloth bags and use those going forward.
Switch to paperless billing.
- Save trees and prevent wastage by paying your bills online. These days, most (if not all) credit card and utilities companies provide a paperless billing option for their customers. If you’re still receiving paper bills in the mail, sign into your account or call the company and tell them you want to switch to paperless.
Use a refillable water bottle.
- Disposable plastic water bottles end up in landfills after a single use. Using a refillable water bottle protects the planet, saves you money, and protects your health (since plastic contains a harmful chemical called BPA). Consider going with a stainless-steel refillable bottle for a super durable option.
Switch to non-toxic cleaning products.
- Look for the Safer Choice label on the product packaging. The government’s Safer Choice program makes it easy for you to identify which cleaning products are environmentally-friendly and low in toxicity. Just look for the Safer Choice logo, which will be on the cleaning product’s label.
- You can also make simple homemade cleaning products. For example, a solution made of equal parts water and white vinegar effectively clean floors, bathrooms, cabinets, and counters.
- Look for manufacturers, such as Cleancult, that have achieved Carbonfree Product Certification meaning their carbon footprint has been measured and neutralized.
Sell or donate used items.
- Avoid trashing items that can still be useful to other people. Landfills are already overflowing, so try to avoid adding to that situation. If you have clothing, appliances, and other items that are still in good shape, consider hosting a garage sale, donating to people in need, or finding unique ways to upcycle and reuse the items.
- Instead of tossing out an old T-shirt, use a sewing machine to turn it into a reusable shopping bag.
- Colanders, old tires, and milk jugs make great upcycled planters.
Join an environmental organization.
- Commit to protecting wild spaces at the local or national level. Whether you live near an ocean, river, forest, mountain, swamp or lake, wild areas like these need protection. They are home to many plants and animals who rely on them for food and shelter. You can do things like:
- Join a group working to protect local wildlife from pollution
- Offset your carbon footprint with Carbonfund
- Volunteer with the National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/volunteer.htm
- Volunteer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service: https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/volunteers
Plant a veggie garden.
- Growing your own produce is a fun spring project. Earth Day falls during the perfect time of year to plant a vegetable garden—springtime! Many types of vegetables can be grown in relatively small spaces, so pick a few options that grow well in your climate.
- Tomatoes are popular with beginner gardeners.
- Green beans are low-maintenance.
- Herbs can be grown in pots and need minimal care.
- Don’t have space for a garden? See if there’s a community garden in your area where you can volunteer.
Start a compost bin.
- Turn your food scraps into nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Instead of putting your banana peels, egg shells, carrot tops, and avocado skins in the trash (where they’ll just end up in a landfill), start composting instead! Collect your food scraps (except for meat and dairy products) in a closed compost bin and add leaves, sticks, grass clippings, and other organic yard trash to the mix.
- Remember to turn the compost mixture every few days using a pitchfork. After several months of turning, the compost will break down into a rich, brown soil for your garden.
Commit to one green act per day.
- You can keep reducing your carbon footprint once Earth Day is over. Earth Day can be every day! While small changes at the individual level may not seem like a big deal, they add up over time and can have a major impact. Moving forward, make it your goal to do one small thing every day to support the environment. For example:
- Limit shower time to avoid wasting water
- Turn off lights when you don’t need them
- Turn off your AC when you’re out
- Switch to energy efficient LED bulbs
- Consider purchasing a carbon offset for your home, vehicle or air-travel
- ↑ https://www.mass.gov/info-details/dcr-earth-day#looking-for-more-earth-day-ideas?
- ↑ https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html
- ↑ https://www.earthday.org/your-first-cleanup-what-to-know-and-expect-15-tips-for-first-time-volunteers/
- ↑ https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/education/Pages/ForbInstructions.aspx
- ↑ https://www.nps.gov/articles/monarch-butterfly.htm
- ↑ https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/01/26/bringing-back-bees
- ↑ https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/animals/AttractingHummingbirds.pdf
- ↑ https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mienvironment/51_ideas_to_celebrate_Earth_day_722429_7.pdf
- ↑ http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/buylocal.html
- ↑ https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-live/
- ↑ https://parade.com/1014585/marynliles/earth-day-activities-adults-kids/
- ↑ https://www.earthday.org/actions/always-carry-a-reusable-bag/
- ↑ https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-tips/
- ↑ https://www.earthday.org/money-in-a-bottle/
- ↑ https://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/identifying-greener-cleaning-products
- ↑ https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-and-reusing-basics
- ↑ https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
- ↑ https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-tips/