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

Leave a Comment

Next year, 2014. Agent of

Next year, 2014. Agent of Change Initiative, Nigeria will celebrate Earth Day Fest. in a dynamic way, we look forward to welcome international friends to celebrate with us. Let's Do It! Foundation (Estonia) and more.

I like the earth day

I like the earth day activities.We must care ourearth especially to prevent drough and missused of foresty.

This earth is so

This earth is so beautiful...the gift of life is so incredible...HONOUR THESE GIFTS OF THE CREATOR's LOVE!!

I was just a kid living in

I was just a kid living in the country when Earth Day started. Teacher suggested we go home and pick up trash along our roads. My brother dragged 3 black garbage bags out of the ditch across the road. I thought that was cool that he did that. I think it was more him that has made me not to be a litter bug.

I will spend the day in

I will spend the day in prayer and gratitude for all the beautiful things in the world. There is much goodness on this day, I will wait untill tomarrow to bitch.

Our entire community does

Our entire community does this on a weekend every May after the snow is gone.

We plan to take a walk about

We plan to take a walk about town (Merrill, Oregon) and just enjoy the community and maybe see if there is anything we can do to help improve the environment. Last year we painted community trash cans. This year we hope to plant flowers for seniors in the neighborhood. Maybe, vegetables along with flowers. Class of 2013: Have a Great Year!

The message of Earth Day

The message of Earth Day needs to be appreciated and more a part of our lives. Not just on April 22 but everyday. The young people are the future of this planet. Let's show them the right path. Peace out.

On this auspicious should be

On this auspicious should be made aware of Mother Earth and lead a 'Green Life' for a
peaceful Tomorrow.It is possible only by following one's own tradition & Culture

I miss the earth the way it

I miss the earth the way it used to be, but that was when I lived in the country. Fresh grown food, fields of wheat and essential grains. Somehow it is just not the same. For earth day I will plant my seeds not pre sprouted plants, this year I want to use my own seeds to create a natural, organic garden of herbs, flowers and food. Earth day is when I will be conscious of my own footprint and recycle or donate many of my things that are cluttering up the yard and my house house. Collecting garbage on a few vacant lots would also be a task for me to do today. Happy Earth Day. 2013

do you mean i miss the earth

do you mean i miss the earth the way it was???

4 score and 2 million years

4 score and 2 million years ago when I was just a baby carbon cell - I missed the way earth was to... just a bubbling crude waiting to be exploited by humans.. all in all we're doing great! The corporates collars are destroying the planet and enslaving it's people like in times of the witch trials... when are the people going to stand up and say enough is enough?

When?

Only when the earth is a dried up, shriveled raisin, all resources dug from one hole to be put in another, and oh yeah, when pigs fly.

God has given us this

God has given us this beautiful Mother EART ,which give us all our basic needs,such as Food,water,& Herbs etc.But we in the name of progress are interfering with the nature.One day will come when Nature will take its revenge and we all will be finished. So Respect our mother Earth. Stop destroying it. Save it for our generations to come so that they also enjoy it

Today best DAY in the world

Today best DAY in the world God has given us this beautiful EARTH and don't destroying our EARTH.

i am wondering why there is

i am wondering why there is not such events in our country already there are much more active people in our country but it all depend on government because government didn't provide such type of facilities so for handle this .my name is hamad khan and i belong from Pakistan i want to join this type of event so that i become a part of earth thank you so much

My birth day is April 22.

My birth day is April 22. Earth Day is April 22. I planting the plant for my world.

Earth Day is the day to do

Earth Day is the day to do "Tribute to Mother Earth" Thinking Earth as mother and action accordingly. Love mother earth.

Earth day is the day which we

Earth day is the day which we are not aware of..This tells as how we Human Beings are Busy in Daily Routine....Better then for Ever Start Planting the Plants..

Does Earth Day Last the

Does Earth Day Last the entire week from Saturday 4-19-13 to Friday 4-26-13, or is it truly just one day (Monday 4-22-13)? Earth Day is about celebrating our Mother Earth....ya hooooo. Let's play in the dirt.

Odd how I found this artical

Odd how I found this artical tonight..Ive been planting all week long trying to get all my plants in the ground before 4/20 funny thing is I didnt know about Earth Day and planted a Lemon Tree in my yard today (Sunday 21, 2013)!! I think everyday should be deemed Earth Day!!

Re : Parbattie Bernard's

Re : Parbattie Bernard's suggestion:

I'm going to go start working on our yard
right now, I have several days worth of work that needs to be done to clean it up!

Nom de Plume

My birthday is on earthday.

My birthday is on earthday. It's funny because I've always felt close to nature. I think on earthday we all need to just make people aware that our mother earth is in great danger unless we come together and make big changes in the way set treat her. You wouldn't treat your birth mother badly, would you?

It is so great that Earth Day

It is so great that Earth Day is celebrated .I would like to start another activity along with planting a tree.
My idea is for citizens of the world to join in the cleaning up of their back and front yards,allyways,drive ways etc to undo the built up clutter where they live.Joint effort make for light work and neighbourly health and beautification.Sunday before Earth day is good for such a venture.Then all can relax and have a nice and neighbourly street picnic.I know I will send a amail to all in my street to fix the drive way in the back of their houses.

excellent idea

excellent idea onthestreetpicnic and clean up the clutter

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