Earth Day 2021

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10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day From Home

April 21, 2021
Arbor Day
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Every April 22, we celebrate Earth Day! Whether it’s a walk through the woods, picking up litter (while walking!), or buying more Earth-friendly products, here are 10 ways that you can help to care for your planet—plus some absolutely beautiful poetic verse to inspire you!

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

The 51st Anniversary of Earth Day

Here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we believe that nature, plants, and the land are integral to our own health and that individual responsibility lies with each of us.

Earth Day 2021 will mark the 51st anniversary of this holiday. Typically, Earth Day is assigned a different theme or area of focus each year; this year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth.”

Most years, Earth Day events range from river cleanups to removals of invasive plants. With social distancing still in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital. Virtual events, such as environmental lectures and films, will take place on Earth Day (Thursday, April 22). To see a catalog of official events, visit earthday.org.

Of course, social distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside and enjoy nature, as long as you do so responsibly! Nature is not canceled! 

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 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 a 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?

Year Earth Day
2021 Thursday, April 22
2022 Friday, April 22
2023 Saturday, April 22

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. One way to do this is by selecting the right plants. Need ideas?

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2. Clean Up Plastic in Your Neighborhood or Local Park

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 that is polluted with trash that needs a spring cleaning! 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

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3. Swap Out Your Kitchen and Household Products!

Let’s talk about the cooking and cleaning products that touch the food we eat as well as our skin. This year, we’ve discovered a line of kitchen and household products called If You Care.” Everything’s biodegradable and does not use chemicals or plastic. Think 100% recycled aluminum foil, chemical-free parchment paper for baking, compostable bags made with potato starch, and even vegetable-based inks for their packaging. We love company’s motto: “We care simply because it’s the right thing to do!” You can find If You Care products online and in stores. See the store locator.

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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 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. 

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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 bigger 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!

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6. Reduce, Reuse, 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:

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7. Stop Pesticides and Chemicals in the Garden

Most of the beginner gardeners whom 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 the plant. If it’s nutrient-rich with organic matter, plants thrive. 

  • See how to use organic soil amendments to turn your poor garden soil into a nutrient-rich paradise in which plants will thrive.
  • You don’t need chemicals to get rid of pesky garden pests: Companion planting, natural remedies, and attracting predators to your garden can save you money and also save your plants. See how to control pests in the organic garden.
  • Some bugs are good for the garden! Here’s a list of some of the best beneficial insects to have in your gardening space, with pictures and tips for attracting them.
  • It’s easy to use an organic plant fertilizer—made from just weeds and water. Does it sound strange to make plant fertilizer by using other plants? Thia is how nature works! Here’s a simple recipe for DIY organic fertilizer—without using chemicals or animal waste—right from your garden!
  • Gardening and farming methods such as not tilling the soil, growing cover crops during the off-season, and rotating crops (and grazing) help to retain organic materials in the soil.
  • Here are tips on organic seed-starting and our Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening to get you started.

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Image Credit: TravnikovStudio/Shutterstock

8. Conserve Water!

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

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9. Think About Your Diet!

About one-third of the food that we produce every year goes to waste annually! Usually, this happens after we buy the food. How do we avoid waste in our own lives (and save money)? Also, how can we improve our diet so that it’s healthier for ourselves (and the planet)? One way is to care about your “foodprint,” which is the result of everything that it takes to get your food from the farm to your plate. Take this fun 3-minute Foodprint Quiz to find out your foodprint.

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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!

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Credit: Rawpixel.com

BONUS: Enjoy the Wonders of the Universe… From Earth!

In the early morning hours of April 22, the annual Lyrid meteor shower is expected to reach its peak, spitting out 10 to 20 meteors per hour between Moonset and dawn. One of the oldest known meteor showers, the first recorded sighting of the Lyrids dates back to 687 BC in China—more than 2,700 years ago! If you’re up for an extra-early start to your Earth Day, venture outdoors around 4AM and look skyward.

For more viewing tips, see our 2021 Meteor Shower Calendar.

Earth Day Quotes and Poetry

Wish a friend a Happy Earth Day with 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)

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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)

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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)

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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

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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)

How do you celebrate Earth Day? Share in the comments below!

Reader Comments

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Our Endangered World

We have the solution in our hands. The Earth has the ability to heal if we stop hurting her. So, here is our chance, a chance to reimagine the world.

BirdNote podcast for Earth Day 2020 - bird sounds across the US

BirdNote has done an extended podcast for Earth Day 2020. Check it out! birdnoteDOTORG and search for Earth Day 2020. Put on your headphones or earbuds and enjoy! Bird sounds from Maine to Hawaii.

EARTH DAY - 22nd April 2020 Observation

As the most part of the world and whole of India is under lockdown to fight the outbreak of COVID-19 I shall be organizing an event inviting the post of pics on "Lockdown earth through balcony & window - Climate acts". This shall be mobilised through participation using different social media.....Dr Sas Biswas Department of Forestry, Dolphin PG Institute of Biomedical and Natural Sciences, Dehradun India

EARTH DAY 2020

As the coronavirus invades our world, we can walk into nature knowing the power and spirit of new life and old life still inhabits where ever we are. Look, stand in awe, breathe the air of wonder and ask how can I save this glorious space. Then act on the answer.

Earth Day Should be Everyday!

I love that there is a national day to appreciate our planet! Especially since it is the only planet we can live on as of now, lol. Everyone coming together with the same goal (to save the planet), is the only way this will work. I don’t think enough people understand how much our planet needs our help, or they think they just won’t make a difference. Well, every little bit helps! Let’s be active, and be a part of the solution to make this world a better place!

Earth Day starts with every child

The Earth moves without us and it's now evident, would be better off without us. Teach your children well. Every day is Earth Day. Respect, reverence, nourishment and love. When has she done less for us? She is both our mother and our child. She provides for us and it is our responsibility to protect her. Every indigenous culture knows this and has practiced it. The lessons are here but we are blind. Respect and compassion. It doesn't get any simpler.

Earth Day Action

I think Earth Day is a very good thing. We need to remember, and come together to help the environment and the earth. I want the earth and environment to be good for future generations. The earth is a wonderful gift. I would like to increase my flowers that attract bees, get better at recycling, and throw less away.

Earth Day 2019- Humans Need A " Do Over " and Fast!

The negative effects of Human activities on our Home Planet and on ourselves are evident and obvious. Disastrous consequences abound and have been effectively documented: The Venus Project, The Zeitgeist Movement, Wasted-The final project of Anthony Bordain, an excellent film that lays out the Human Species and indicates the points where we can be assured of the death of the Human Species within the next few years. I am not a Negative Human. The moment to correct ourselves and amend the wrongs is NOW.

Earth Day

Look, I love the earth, and I love Earth Day, and EVERYTHING it stands for. But let's be honest with ourselves here; nobody is going to listen to us, so unfortunately, it is on us to DO what they're NOT doing, and to fix what they are harming WITHOUT their help or consent. I know it's not fair to us, but that's the way things are right now, and will be unless those who ARE NOT listening, start to care about Earth Day and what it stands for. If we don't do it, nobody will, and the pollution and whatnot will just get out of hand. It's up to us.

Re: Earth Day

Can we change people? No. They don't want to. Can we save the earth? Yes!

Earth Day 2018

Since conservation is a part of saving the earth and keeping species from going extinct, it seems we should refrain from eating sushi that uses blue fin tuna. They are at the brink of being an endangered species. One YouTuber claims that 80% of Atlantic and Pacific Blue Fin Tuna caught is consumed by the Japanese. If you look up a 2014 article by The Atlantic Magazine, it examines the issue.

Earth Day

Everyone can make a difference. Plant a tree, start a garden (even in a container) take a walk in the woods. Celebrate all that mother earth offers us every day!

What a beautiful world!

I hope Earth Day 2018 is greatest day in the history of forever. Happy Birthday, Earth. Smoke a tree. Don’t get wrapped around one :)

EARTH DAY 2017 "Cleanest" STATES, Big Cities

Check out litterscorecard.com STATES include Washington, Iowa, Vermont; Big CITIES include Jacksonville (FL), Portland (OR), Virginia Beach (VA), Omaha (NE)

National earth day, may be

National Earth Day, today there may be many reasons why to celebrate. The one i adhere to most is that it reminds those who forget how precious is our planet and all on it. Planting trees, if u can, great way to replace so many we've list. If u can't plant, well at least appreciate all organic beings, you and those around u. Earth day is truly everyday, 24hrs a day, and beyond? Namaste.

Earth Day

Since i was little i have always planted many different things on earth day. It has trickled down to my family. We always plant veggies, trees and flowers. Our time here is so short and precious we all just have to do our part. And i will continue to do this with them and when i have grandkids them too.

Earth Day Every Day....

Thought you would like to be informed and invited to participate in an on going global clean up program called The One Piece Program. It's quite simple and easy, yet so effective. www.onepieceprogram.com

When i do my walking

When i do my walking orcycling, i take used plastic bag and a tweezer to collect all rubbish like plastic bottles, tin cans and plastic bags along my route. Dispose them rightfully into recycle bins. Always remember to 3R - reduce, reuse and recycle.

I love Earth Day. This is

I love Earth Day. This is 4-22-2015.
I remember my girls being little, now 33 and 29. It was a day of planting, collecting trash, making things from trash, using no energy sources of power in the home. We basically stayed out side almost all day. It was a celebration of our planet earth the cool place we live. Take them shopping for plants or succulents or cactus, or pick flowers, or plant a tree, an Evergreen or Fruit tree. I would ask them, what they liked about being a part of the universe, if they thought they had a responsibility? What would we do as humans to improve the earth for future generations of humans animals, and mammals and green life and food sources. We did this every year. It was fun. Now they have grown older. No one to share with.

let us all follow the three

let us all follow the three R's- reduce, reuse and recycle and give inspirations to the future generations of the world!!!

you said is really correct

you said is really correct dude!!!!!

every year it seems i care

every year it seems i care more about the earth.

we travel eight months out of the year and winter in Florida. the earth brings me great pleasure, the bounty of the earth brings me great pleasure.

so many fine ideas to celebrate this day....really, Earth Day is every day.

thank you for sharing.....

Isn't Earth Day a day a govt.

Isn't Earth Day a day a govt. ruse to get people to plant trees and be happy? I see no point in Earth Day. Why don't you go plant a tree on say June 16th for example? I see no sense.

I love our country.---It

I love our country.---It commits many sins but the Declaration of Independence defines it---government of the people, by the people, and for the people. That's the way I try to live here. I am sorry that you have experienced the sins (ruses) of the "people" who have failed to live up to what we should be.

I thought you planted trees

I thought you planted trees on arbor day

The earth herself does not

The earth herself does not care one way or the other about governments. To do something nice for the planet, ultimately does something nice for you and all those you care about because, for now, we all live here.

You said you see no sense in

You said you see no sense in Earth day? Well why don't you take you & your donkey asses in the barn to MARS so you can participate or not choose to participate in MARS NIGHT cuz we sure have more sense in earth than they do on MARS cuz sense win't grow at all on Mars.. not enough water, sense what and where I am getting @ - be glad we rejoice in earth day... maybe you would prefer an Earth Night in case you are a blood sucking vampire and afraid of the Sun... if so I hope a Lycan butt bites you,

Earth day, Every day

One good reason not to plant a tree in June is because it is too hot by then, best to plant in spring or fall.

Earth Day! How appropriate!

Earth Day! How appropriate! I love it!!
A great time to celebrate our wonderful earth!!

And do not forget to recycle!

And do not forget to recycle! Planet Aid with our signature yellow bins across the US collects clothing and shoes. ‎Find a Bin - ‎Your Local Planet Aid - www.planetaid.org/‎ Planet Aid is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Thank you Planet Aid 17 Hampshire Dr, Hudson, NH 03051 (603) 594-4175

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