Post Category: Inspiration

53 Earth Day Activities to Celebrate All Year Long

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Planting a tree on Earth Day is like buying Dad a tie for Father’s Day. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s a bit overdone! Redbubble Marketplace is dedicated to sustainable production practices, so we’ve compiled these Earth Day activities that can — and should! — be done all year long to help you cut your own environmental impact.

Green Activities for Kids

Just like healthy habits, it’s good to start eco-friendly practices early. Try these fun things to do on Earth Day with kids to get them on the right track for an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

1. Go on a neighborhood safari 

Help kids pay attention to local wildlife with a neighborhood safari. Name a parent as the safari leader and lead the kids on a walk around the neighborhood. During the walk, point out any wildlife, like squirrels, chipmunks, birds, worms, or even dogs and cats, and provide a few facts about them, just like in a wilderness safari.

Encourage kids to really get into the experience with hats, binoculars, and cameras to document what they see. 

2. Create a local wildlife documentary 

Put those electronics to good use! Encourage your kids to study an animal or plant in the neighborhood and document it over time. They can take videos or a series of photographs on their cell phones and then use an editing program to create an educational voiceover about the topic of their documentary.

For added fun, enlist all the kids in the neighborhood and then host a documentary screening outdoors with popcorn and s’mores.

3. Start a nature journal

Hand kids a notebook and a pencil and have them start documenting what they notice outside each day. They can cover the weather, any animals they see, track seed growth, or anything else they observe. A great Earth Day activity to help kids take notice of all the nature around them.

4. Build a bird feeder 

Instead of chucking that plastic bottle in the recycling bin, turn it into a bird feeder! Poke a few holes in it, run a dowel rod through for the birds to rest on, and tie some string around the top to hang in a tree. Don’t have a plastic bottle? No problem! Milk jugs also make great containers, or you can make one out of a few craft sticks. 

5. Make an insect hotel

Show kids that bugs aren’t scary (except for the poisonous ones!) by talking about all the good things they do for us, like pollinating plants, aerating dirt, and decomposing waste. Help kids see those good deeds in action by building an insect hotel out of everyday objects. This Earth Day activity can get messy, so keep a clean t-shirt handy in case they get messy while building!

Earth Day toddler hoodie

Love the Earth Cat Toddler Pullover Hoodie designed and sold by LydiaLyd

6. Read green-themed books

If it’s rainy on Earth Day, never fear! Instead, snuggle up on the floor with a comfy floor pillow with a few Earth Day-themed picture books. “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, “This Is Our World” by Emily Sollinger, and “One Earth” by Eileen Spinelli are all great options to start the conversation about protecting our planet.

7. Start a seed jar 

April may still be too cool to plant anything outside in many places. Instead, if you want to get your hands dirty on Earth Day, start seed jars. Grab a hoodie, then go outside and fill small jars (baby food jars work great if you have them!) with dirt from the garden. Then come back inside where it’s warmer, plant a seed, water it, place them on a sunny windowsill, and watch them grow! 

Once it’s warmer and the threat of frost is over, transplant the seedlings outside. If you don’t have a jar handy, consider using an old egg carton or a mug.

8. Create a recycle bin

This Earth Day activity is the start of an eco-friendly habit. Encourage kids to recycle by creating their own recycling bins. They can decorate an old cardboard box using markers or colored paper and glue. Elevate the decor with some stickers that show their love for nature. Review what goes in recycling bins and add emptying it to their chore chart for the added responsibility.

9. Experiment with regrowing vegetable scraps

Believe it or not, you don’t even need seeds to grow some vegetables! Have kids experiment with vegetable scraps to see what plants will regenerate if you put them in water. They can hone their science skills while learning to cook and document the results of their experiments like a real scientist in a notebook.

10. Create nature art using natural materials

Give kids a basket and tell them they have two minutes to gather as many natural materials outdoors as they can, but don’t tell them what they’re going to do with it. When time is up, have them empty their baskets, hand them some art supplies in a zipper pouch, and ask them to create beautiful artwork with whatever materials they found. 

11. Make some nature-inspired snacks

If Earth Day happens to be rainy, head to the kitchen and make some delicious Earth Day treats. Make cupcakes and ice them to look like the world or trees. Grind up Oreos to make dirt and add some sour gummy worms. Keep an Earth Day-inspired apron on to protect your clothes from culinary spills.

12. Outdoor scavenger hunt

This activity is great for getting kids outdoors on Earth Day. Give kids our list of everyday outdoor items (be eco-friendly — print it on the back of paper you’ve already used!) and give them a time limit to track down all the items. If they have phones, they should provide photographic evidence of their sighting. Whoever finds all the objects first wins a prize, like a new hoodie!

H2: Green Activities for Adults 

Earth Day is for everyone, so adults should get into the action with these Earth Day celebration ideas.

13. Have an environmentally friendly dinner party

Raise awareness of the role of food in conserving our planet with an environmentally friendly dinner. Serve food you grew yourself (or if you lack a green thumb, local food you’ve purchased) on biodegradable dishware and eat by candlelight to conserve energy.

14. Conduct a home energy audit

Do you know how much energy your home uses? Complete a home energy audit to determine where you can cut back. This can be as simple as looking at your bills and figuring out how to use less energy. You can also kick it up a notch by fixing wasteful aspects of your home, like leaky faucets or drafty windows. You can also opt to keep your thermostat set lower in the winter and keep warm with throw blankets.

15. Calculate your carbon footprint 

A person’s carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide generated by their actions. In the U.S., the average annual carbon footprint per person is 16 tons, while globally, the average is 4 tons per person. According to scientists’ best estimates, the global average needs to fall to 2 tons per person to avoid temperature increases that contribute to climate change.

To calculate your carbon footprint, check out an online calculator. If your carbon footprint is higher than the recommended 2 tons, explore ways you can commit to lowering your carbon footprint, like eating less meat or biking to work.

16. Join a local environmental organization

Most areas have a local environmental organization that needs volunteers. Chances are they are doing a service project in honor of Earth Day, so be on the lookout for social media ads for what organizations are active in your area. Then, after Earth Day, commit to joining and helping out all year long.

17. Donate to green initiatives

There’s something to be said for putting your money where your mouth is. If you don’t have time to volunteer, that’s okay. Instead, donate money to reputable environmental organizations in your area. Do research before you donate, though, so you know your money is used wisely.

18. Plan a service trip

If you have the means, replace your yearly luxury vacation with a service trip to help further an environmental cause. There are great opportunities for service in agriculture and animal preservation here in the United States, or you can explore options in Costa Rica, New Zealand, or other exotic locales. Throw all the gear you’ll need on the trip in a duffel bag that lets everyone you meet know what matters to you.

19. Engage with policymakers

Take an active role in local politics, and vote with Mother Earth in mind. Support candidates who champion green initiatives and write letters or emails to your representatives indicating your support. You can even use pins and stickers to raise awareness of environmental issues.

20. Shop secondhand or on-demand

Not only will shopping secondhand save you money on everything from furniture to clothing, but it can also help save the planet. Eighty-five percent of consumer-used textiles end up in landfills, but shopping secondhand will keep them out longer. It also helps eliminate pollution caused by the production of new materials, saving energy, water, and packing materials while also lowering your carbon footprint. 

Shopping secondhand isn’t always feasible, so try printing-on-demand. By purchasing directly from the manufacturer, you save the carbon involved with shipping the product to a warehouse before it’s shipped to you. You also eliminate materials being produced that are never sold and end up in landfills.

If you can’t shop secondhand or print-on-demand, consider buying products that are eco-friendly.

21. Participate in a green challenge

A little friendly competition never hurt anyone! Challenge yourself and your friends to complete a green challenge. Stake a friendly wager, share the challenge card digitally, and start the competition! Bonus points if you are wearing an Earth-friendly shirt in any pictures from the event!

22. Go on a camping trip

Force yourself to unplug by exploring nature for a few days. There’s nothing like cooking your own food and sleeping under the stars to help you appreciate the wonders of Mother Nature. Plus you’ll save energy by going everywhere on your own steam and avoiding electricity.

Green Activities for Families

Use Earth Day as an excuse to spend time with your loved ones with these family-friendly Earth Day activities.

23. Go on a picnic to enjoy nature 

Celebrating Earth Day isn’t just about doing what’s good for the planet. It’s also about reconnecting with nature. Your favorite sandwiches, fruit, and salty snacks always taste better after a long hike with a beautiful view. Don’t forget the hoodies if the day is chilly, and bring a blanket to sit on so your pants don’t get wet!

24. Have a tech-free day

Turn off your computers, phones, and video games, and spend the day outside enjoying nature. Take this challenge to the next level by avoiding electricity use as well. This is an excellent free Earth Day activity, and it gets you out of the house!

25. Plant a garden

Make this the year you finally plant the garden you’ve been dreaming of. Whether in a community garden or your own backyard, grow your favorite flowers and veggies. Even if you aren’t successful, you’ll learn what to do better next year to be a better plant parent. You can even start small with a mug herb garden.

26. Visit a park and pick up trash 

Head to the park like you would on any other day, but this time, bring trash bags. As you go on your usual nature walk or play on the playground, pick up any trash you see.

It'll bee okay drawstring bag

Bee Pun – It’ll Bee Okay Drawstring Bag designed and sold by Sarah Garrett

27. Attract pollinators

Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are all excellent pollinators, and they’re also beautiful to watch float through the air. Attract them to your garden by growing specific varieties of plants. For example, bees love echinacea, hostas, and wildflowers. Hummingbirds are attracted to daylilies and petunias, and butterflies favor flox and black-eyed susans. 

28. Start composting

Composting is a great way to dispose of all your food scraps if you have space in your yard. Instead of throwing them out, composting them enriches your soil while producing natural bacteria you can use as fertilizer in your garden, eliminating the need for potentially harmful chemicals in your yard.

29. Go on a sound hunt

Go for a walk without your earbuds. Instead of your favorite podcast host or classic rock band in your ears, focus on the sounds of nature: birds chirping, leaves rustling, sticks cracking. Try to identify as many different natural sounds as you can while walking. 

30. Go on a bike ride or walk

Take a bike ride around the neighborhood, or walk to your local coffee shop for your morning cup of joe for your Earth Day activity. By getting out of your car, you’ll notice parts of your usual drive that you don’t normally see or hear while saving some energy. Make sure to bring your water bottle with you!

Make Every Day Earth Day

Incorporate these Earth Day activities into your everyday life to make a lasting difference.

31. Swap household products with eco-friendly versions

Green cleaning uses natural ingredients like baking soda or citric acid rather than toxic chemicals. When looking for a green cleaner, don’t just look at the ingredients — also look for biodegradable packaging and other sustainable practices the company uses.

32. Opt for sustainable fashion

The clothing industry is one of Earth’s biggest polluters, outpacing the shipping and aviation industries’ pollution combined. But sustainable fashion aims to make every aspect of clothing production, from design to distribution, environmentally friendly. At Redbubble, our commitment to sustainable fashion means our products are printed on demand.

33. Buy local 

One of the smallest changes with the most significant environmental impact is shopping locally. It eliminates air pollution related to shipping, creates less waste, and uses less packaging than products shipped long distances. Check out local farmer’s markets and co-ops to find the best deals, support local businesses, and save the planet. Who knows? This Earth Day activity may turn into a regular weekend activity for your family!

34. Use natural pesticides and fertilizers

Chemical-based pesticides and fertilizers may be effective at getting rid of pests and making your lawn greener, but in the long run, they do more harm than good. Fortunately, there are natural versions that work just as well. This Earth Day, clean out your pesticides and fertilizers (following responsible disposal guidelines) and replace them all with natural versions.

35. Go meatless

Everyone has their own reason for giving up meat, but one is the environmental impact of the meat industry. Every step of meat production, from clearing the land for grazing to tossing out scraps, increases your carbon footprint. With all the plant-based meat options on the market today, giving up meat is easier than ever, making it a great Earth Day activity. 

Can’t give up your weekly steak dinner with all the fixins? That’s okay! Even committing to avoiding meat one day a week or one week a month can make a difference.

36. Install a rain barrel

Connect a rain barrel to your gutters to trap rainwater, and then use that water in your garden and yard. You’ll save money on your water bill, protect your soil from erosion due to runoff, and conserve water.  

37. Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs

LED bulbs use 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb. They also last longer, which means you’re sending fewer lightbulbs to the landfill. But wait, there’s more! By replacing bulbs less often, you are lowering your carbon footprint with less manufacturing and shipping. Plus, this Earth Day activity will save you money in the long run!

38. Turn down your water heater

Sometimes you just need a hot bath to show yourself some love. But the hotter you set your water heater, the more energy it consumes to keep it warm between bubble baths. Even turning down the temperature a few degrees has a significant impact on your energy usage (and your bill!) without making you uncomfortable. And keep turning off the water while you brush your teeth!

39. Go paperless

No one likes bills, but you can make the experience a little better by going paperless. Paying money feels a little less painful when you know you saved a tree by receiving an emailed bill and paying electronically rather than by check.

Technology can help you cut out a lot of paper in other areas of your life. Instead of taking notes on a notepad, use a note-taking app on your phone or tablet. Sign up for the e-edition of your favorite newspaper to stay informed without the extra paper.

If you absolutely can’t ditch paper, make sure to recycle what you do use by reprinting on the back, using it for scratch paper, or using newspapers for art projects. 

Save Arrr Seas reusable tote bag

Save Arrr Seas Tote Bag designed and sold by thepapercrane

40. BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

Help end plastic waste by using reusable tote bags. Eight states, including California, New York, and Hawaii, have already banned single-use plastic bags or imposed a tax on them. Many other states have legislation in the works to enact similar penalties to encourage people and businesses to switch to reusable tote bags. 

If you have trouble remembering to bring tote bags, leave them in your car so they’re always handy!

41. Upgrade your car to a hybrid or electric model

For many of us who live in the suburbs or rural areas, cars are a fact of life. As much as we wish we could take public transit, it doesn’t always exist for us. In that case, consider replacing your gas-powered car with a hybrid or electric model the next time you’re in the market for a new car. 

This Earth Day activity requires a bit more cash than the others, so to offset the cost, look into any tax credits or grants your state may offer for fuel-efficient vehicles.

42. Get off the grid with solar power

If you’re financially able, add a solar panel or two to your property. This practice has become more mainstream over the years, making it a bit more affordable, especially when combined with tax breaks in some states. Plus, many homeowners can completely eliminate their monthly electric bills. A lucky few have even been able to donate the energy they harness to the local electricity grid and earn a few bucks.

43. Replace single-use products 

If you haven’t already replaced your plastic water bottle with a reusable water bottle, do it now. Have your local coffee shop put your usual coffee order in a reusable travel mug instead of a paper cup. Invest in a reusable straw that travels with you instead of using a disposable straw when you’re at a restaurant. Pack your lunch in reusable containers instead of plastic baggies. 

These are all small steps we can take to create more eco-friendly habits.

Virtual Green Activities

One positive outcome of the pandemic is the proliferation of virtual events, which allow us to travel the world without getting out of our pajamas. Check out these virtual activities for Earth Day to help save the world without leaving the couch.

44. Take a virtual trip

Instead of traveling to your favorite vacation spot this year, consider going on a virtual trip on Earth Day or whenever you can. Take a virtual tour of a science museum, or fly over a local nature preserve or waterway in drone video and hike with a virtual map. 

45. Learn more about an eco issue 

Almost everyone carries a computer in their pocket these days, so there’s no excuse not to be informed. Pick an environmental issue you want to learn more about, and set aside some time to take a deep dive into it. Watch a documentary or two, listen to a podcast while walking, or read news articles. 

46. Use your social media channels to share eco info

This is one of the easier Earth Day activities since it involves your phone, which you’re already on all the time anyway. Raise awareness of an eco issue you are passionate about by using your social media channels. Share reliable information with your followers, create original content, or document an experience. You never know how your post might impact someone; you could inspire someone on the other side of the world to take action.

47. Attend a virtual event 

This Earth Day, events are happening all over the country, but thanks to live streaming, you won’t have to travel to another state. Watch live-streamed virtual events ranging from rallies to educational talks. Be sure to show off some Earth Day apparel!

Wild rhino throw pillow

Wild Rhino Throw Pillow designed and sold by Dan Elijah Fajardo

48. Adopt, don’t shop

Do your part to save an animal by adopting one from your local shelter. 6.3 million pets spend at least some time in a shelter every year waiting for their forever home. Instead of purchasing a dog or cat from a breeder, rescue a pet and spoil them with some swag, snuggles, and love. Just keep in mind that this Earth Day activity is for the long haul, so make sure you are ready to be a pet parent.

Can’t adopt a pet? Not to worry! Instead, sign up to adopt an endangered animal at a reserve anywhere in the world. For a small donation, you can support the animal’s care and view its progress online with live streams and photo updates. Who doesn’t love getting adorable animal pics in their inbox?

49. Visit national parks virtually 

The United States has more than 400 national parks sites totaling more than 84 million acres. Whether your interest is historical battlegrounds, national monuments, rec areas, or scenic trails, there’s a national park for you, and thanks to the internet, you can explore a lot of them from the comfort of your home.

Community Green Projects

Celebrate Earth Day and make new friends by participating in a community Earth Day activity. Explore your local social media channels or the internet to find a project to join.

50. Volunteer

As the old adage says, actions speak louder than words. For this Earth Day activity, set aside some time to volunteer with a local organization. Search for park or beach cleanups near you, or look into community gardens. If there’s a 5K with proceeds toward environmental issues but you aren’t a runner, help run the event. Be sure to sport an Earth-themed T-shirt while you do your good deeds!

51. Petition for a community garden

Community gardens have been trendy for a while, and they’ve experienced exponential growth since 2012. It’s no wonder why: They provide food security and access to fresh food, promote a healthier community, and create a sense of camaraderie. 

If your neighborhood doesn’t have a community garden yet, start a petition to turn a vacant lot or existing community green space into a place where anyone can grow their own vegetables. Consider proposing that everyone donate a percentage of their yield each season to the community food bank, which often lacks fresh produce.

52. Establish a neighborhood garage sale or donation pickup

Being environmentally friendly isn’t just about minimizing your consumption; it’s also about keeping trash out of landfills. Since Earth Day coincides with spring cleaning season, organize a neighborhood garage sale where people can exchange or sell their unwanted items to people who can repurpose them. 

After the garage sale, have everyone pitch in to pay for a donation pickup from a local charity. Everyone will already have everything in their driveways, so instead of taking it back inside where it will sit for a few months until they remember to donate it, they can toss it on the donation truck to be hauled away and given to those who need it.

53. Organize an e-waste drive

In 2021, the world tossed 63 million tons of e-waste into landfills, including 151 million cell phones. Electronics include potentially harmful substances like lead or mercury, which can leach into the ground and end up in our groundwater systems. 

Fortunately, e-waste can be disposed of responsibly, so organize an e-waste drive in your neighborhood. Collect any unwanted tech items like cell phones, computer monitors, or laptops from your neighbors, and drop them off at your state’s e-waste recycling center.

Aren’t sure what to do on Earth Day? Use this helpful flowchart to help you decide. Further show your support for our planet this Earth Day by sporting some Earth-themed merchandise that you know is sustainably produced while completing these fun Earth Day activities.

At Redbubble, sustainability is part of our mission statement, which is why we print all our products on-demand to leave a smaller footprint and participate in a carbon offset program to offset 95% of our carbon emissions when manufacturing your products. 

Remember that saving the planet may seem like too big a job for one person, but if we all make small changes like doing one of these Earth Day activities, we can create a big difference in the Earth’s future. 

Header Image: Happy World designed by Daniel Teixeira

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