Earth Day 2024: How to Celebrate Earth Day

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10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

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The 54th Earth Day is Monday, April 22. So, what is Earth Day? How did it come to be? How can we celebrate Earth Day? Here are 10 ways to discover, enjoy, and respect our beautiful planet, plus a fun Earth Day Quiz!

Here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we believe that we are stewards of nature, plants, and our lands and that the individual responsibility lies with each of us. Our planet needs our help to thrive. Earth Day activities can range from river cleanups to removals of invasive plants.

The “green things growing” whisper me
Of many an earth-old mystery.
–Eben Eugene Rexford (1848–1916)

What Is Earth Day?

Ever wonder how Earth Day began? The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, when San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. Dealing with dangerously serious issues concerning toxic drinking water, air pollution, and the effects of pesticides, an impressive 20 million Americans—10% of the population—ventured outdoors and protested together.

President Richard Nixon led the nation in creating the Environmental Protection Agency, which was followed with successful laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

McConnell originally had chosen the spring equinox (March 20, 1970), but Nelson chose April 22, which ended up becoming the official celebration date. (Given that the date of the spring equinox changes over time, it may have made things more complicated to go with the astronomical event rather than just a calendar date.)

Today, not only is Earth Day meant to increase awareness of environmental problems, but it is also becoming a popular time for many communities to gather together to clean up litter, plant trees, or simply reflect on the beauty of nature. Further down the page, we’ve provided a list of activities and projects that you can do to improve your local environment!

When Is Earth Day?

Earth Day is always celebrated on April 22. It’s followed closely by Arbor Day, which falls on the last Friday in April.

When Is Earth Day?
YearEarth Day
2024Monday, April 22
2025Tuesday, April 22
2026Wednesday, April 22
2027Thursday, April 22

Earth Day Quiz

Find the answers to these five questions at the end of the page! (Don’t peek!)

  1. How much of the plastic that we discard every day is recycled?

  2. What is one way to leave our soil and farmland in better shape than we found it? 

  3. How much time in nature allows the average person to feel an improvement in physical and mental well-being?

  4. What do bees collect from flowers? 

  5. How much edible food is wasted?

10 Earth Day Activities and Ideas

Celebrate Earth Day by appreciating and respecting the natural world. Here are some ideas to inspire you this year. 

1. Support Our Pollinators! 

Bring native bees and other pollinating creatures to your garden. 

mason bee on a yellow flower

2. Clean Up Plastic in Your Neighborhood

One of the best ways to connect with the Earth is through cleanups. Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any plastic that you find. Perhaps you know of a nearby ditch or drainage area around the corner that is polluted with trash! Y

You’ll start to realize that plastic permeates every aspect of our lives. But as the world wakes up to its addiction, just how easy is it to ditch plastic while growing and storing more of our own food? Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can. See a Plastics Recycling Chart


3. Go to a Park Today!

Find a green space today. Savor the physical and psychological benefits of spending time outdoors! Read why getting outside is good for your body and your mind.

Earth Day is also National Parks Week. Explore the parks around you, and plan a trip to one of our gorgeous national parks soon!. 

This summer, consider whether you can take a walk or ride a bike when running errands or visiting family and friends. It’s good for your body and the planet!

4. Plant a Tree!

We love our trees! They capture carbon, cool overheated places, benefit agriculture, support pollinators, reduce the risk of disease transmission, and boost local economies. 

Did you know that planting one oak tree brings in more insect and bird species than an entire yard of plants? Talk to your local government about planting more trees and native garden beds in public spaces, or consider planting your own on your property! See advice on how to plant a new tree.

Another way to make a difference is to ditch printed seed or plant catalogs. When you receive an unwanted catalog in the mail (especially those huge ones!), contact the company and ask to be removed from their print list. 


5. Use Wildflowers and Native Plants

Wildflowers and indigenous species are not only beautiful but also attract native and beneficial insects that improve both pest control and pollination—meaning bigger flowers and better harvests. Try to simply add a couple of native plants to your garden each year, and you’ll be amazed at the difference—they’ll bring in pollinators as well as birds!


6. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in the Garden

Caring about yourself and nature means being less wasteful and saving money, too. Who could argue with this? If you are a gardener, here are just a few ideas:


7. Stop Using Chemicals in the Garden

Most of the beginner gardeners we meet want to start growing without chemicals or pesticides—in a way that works and even saves money. Much of this is simply about focusing less on the plant and more on the health of the soil that supports it. If the soil is nutrient-rich with organic matter, plants thrive. 

girl smelling tomatoes in the garden
Image Credit: TravnikovStudio/Shutterstock

8. Conserve Water!

We waste a lot of water. Knowing how much your garden really needs can help you avoid overwatering your plants and improve their health. Avoid watering your garden vegetables and plants from overhead, which invites fungal disease. Water at the soil level.  

  • See our top tips for watering wisely in the garden. For gardens, flower beds, trees, and other non-lawn areas, consider installing a drip irrigation system or hose with irrigation holes that puts the water right into the soil, where you want it. If you must use sprinklers, put them on timers.
  • Harvest your rainwater from a roof, gutters, and sky with a rain barrel. If you have a low-lying area, consider planting a rain garden, which captures runoff, filters out pollutants, and provides food and shelter for butterflies, songbirds, and other wildlife. See plot plans for “sun” and “shade” rain gardens.


9. Think About Your Diet!

About one-third of the food that we produce every year goes to waste! Usually, this happens after we buy the food. How do we avoid waste in our lives (and save money)? Also, how can we improve our diet to be healthier for ourselves (and the planet)? 

Think about these ideas: 1. Buying more seasonal food versus food that you know is not in season. 2. Eating more plants and less meat to improve your overall health and also reduce your carbon footprint. (Try meatless Mondays or cut your serving size of meat in half and double your vegetable portion.) 3. Composting or reusing food scraps. 4. Drinking more water (and carrying a re-washable water bottle). 5. Avoiding single-use containers and bags, styrofoam, and excess packaging.


10. Get Kids Involved!

Pass down a love of nature and plants to kids. There are lots of opportunities for hands-on learning experiences outside. Here are some ideas for how to garden with kids, including fun activities like planting a sunflower house! Find 6 more garden projects for kids from the Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids!

Credit: Rawpixel.com

Earth Day Quotes and Poetry

Wish a friend a Happy Earth Day! Send them an email or share one of these beautiful quotes!

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
The plants suck in the earth and are
With constant drinking fresh and fair.
–Abraham Cowley (1618–67)


Summer, fall, winter, spring,
The seasons rotate as each brings
Its special beauty to this Earth of ours.
Winter’s snow and summer’s flowers;
Frozen rivers will flow come spring,
There is a renewal of everything.
–Edna Frohock (1906–97)


The season comes when, from her three-month trance, 
The Earth awakens: already her deep heart
Begins to stir, and send its life abroad. 
–Thomas Buchanan Read (1822–72)


While the bright radiant sun in centre glows,
The earth in annual motion round it goes;
At the same time on its own axis reels,
And gives us change of seasons as it wheels.
–The 1793 Old Farmer’s Almanac


It’s an earth song,—
And I’ve been waiting long for an earth song. 
It’s a spring song,—
And I’ve been waiting long for a spring song. 
    Strong as the shoots of a new plant 
    Strong as the bursting of new buds
    Strong as the coming of the first child from its mother’s womb. 
It’s an earth song, 
A body song, 
A spring song, 
I have been waiting long for this spring song
Langston Hughes (190267)

Answers to our Earth Day Quiz

  1. Only 9% of the plastic we discard every day is recycled. Most end up in landfills, where they may take 1,000 years to decompose and increase toxic waste in our water and soil. 

  2. Here are three ways to leave the soil as good as we found it: reduce tillage, use crop rotation practices and compost!

  3. Only 120 minutes per week (or less than 20 minutes per day) can contribute to a measurable improvement in physical and mental well-being! 

  4. Bees collect both nectar and pollen from flowers to feed their colonies. The bees then move the pollen from plant to plant, which allows the plants to make new seeds. Neither would exist without the other. 

  5. About 25% of food is never eaten due to being less than perfect. Food waste is a massive issue as it wastes water, energy, land, labor, and financial capital. Find new ways to put food to use!

Every day is Earth Day! Learn more at Earthday.org.

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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