Since 1970, April 22nd marks the official celebration of Earth Day, a day to commemorate and reflect on the movement towards a greener, more sustainable future. This Earth Day, we’re sharing a list of seven ways you can take action to celebrate—from mapping biodiversity in your neighborhood to making your home more sustainable to supporting global citizen science initiatives.
1. Start planning a rain garden for your back yard or neighborhood
With people spending more time than ever at home, many have turned their attention to home improvement projects. You can get into the spirit of Earth Day by making your next project one that will not only beautify your yard or neighborhood but also improve water quality and prevent flooding. Rain gardens, a type of green infrastructure, are an approach to water management that mimics the natural water cycle. Read our guide on building your own rain garden to get started.
2. Get kids engaged with nature and science
It’s never too early to get children engaged with science and nature. With the weather warming and spring in the air, Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to get the kids in your life outside and excited about science. From making a pine cone bird feeder to looking for four-leaf clovers to creating a neighborhood plant atlas, there are tons of free ways to entertain youngsters while getting them engaged with wildlife, natural materials, and the environment around them. Check out our list of eco-tainment activities for more ideas.
3. Join iNaturalist and discover the nature in your neighborhood
Whether you live in a bustling city or a quiet small town, you have a whole host of wildlife living within walking distance from your front door. You can explore your local nature and help scientists learn more about plants and wildlife by joining iNaturalist, a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society that allows you to record observations of plants and wildlife you encounter, share that information with fellow naturalists, and prompt discussions about your findings. This free program enables you to help map biodiversity from anywhere in the world, contributing directly to biodiversity science. You can watch a brief tutorial to help get you started.
4. Take some small steps to make your home more sustainable
Spending more time in our homes also means using more electricity and water. But there are a number of ways you can make your house more sustainable that are good for both the environment AND your wallet. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to commit to adopting these energy-saving habits, like using less AC, using cloth napkins, and growing your own herbs.
5. Read a book about the environment
For Earth Day, consider learning more about the environment and the influential people who have spearheaded the environmental movement. You can immerse yourself in some of the best science books written about the environment while expanding your horizons and staying engaged with the conservation movement by picking up an environmentally focused book. Not sure what to pick up? Check out our list of must-read science books about the environment, as recommended by Earthwatch scientists and staff.
6. Clean up your neighborhood
Celebrate Earth Day by making the world a little bit cleaner. Grab some gloves and a trash bag and help to pick up the litter in your neighborhood. By just spending a few hours picking up the plastic littering your area, you can improve the nature around you and help keep our planet healthy. You could even try making it part of your routine—walking the dog or getting some fresh air? Bring some cleanup supplies with you and pick up any litter you see. Check out these tips and resources to get started!
7. Donate to Earthwatch
For 50 years, Earthwatch has worked to make real change happen, and we believe that investing in science and education is the way to do it. Our programs support pivotal field research that shapes environmental policy and protects our natural world. But just as importantly—they focus on people: increasing scientific literacy, connecting people with nature, and inspiring them to become environmental champions and stewards in their own communities. You can donate to help support our mission and our critical work around the world.