Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. That very first Earth Day is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement! The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.
Over twenty years later, Earth Day has gone global, mobilizing 200 million people in more than 190 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day had reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.
35 Ways to Make a Difference on Earth Day!
Plant a tree or donate a tree through our Canopy Project.
Join a local park, river or beach clean-up.
Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products.
Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs or LEDs. Reduce your carbon footprint by 450 pounds a year.
Carpool, ride your bike, use public transportation or drive an electric or hybrid car. Reduce your carbon footprint by one pound for every mile you do not drive.
Keep your tires properly inflated and get better gas mileage. Reduce your carbon footprint 20 pounds for each gallon of gas saved.
Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws.
Recycle paper, plastic and glass. Reduce your garbage by 10% and your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year.
Donate your old clothes and home goods instead of throwing them out. When you need something, consider buying used items.
Use cloth towels instead of paper ones.
Change your paper bills to online billing. You’ll be saving trees and the fuel it takes to deliver your bills by truck.
Read documents online instead of printing them.
Set your office printer to print two-sided.
Collect used printer, fax, and copier cartridges to recycle.
Convince your school district or office building to choose reusable utensils, trays, and dishes in the cafeteria.
Use reusable bottles for water, and reusable mugs for coffee.
Bring reusable bags when you shop.
Pack your lunch in a reusable bag.
Buy local food to reduce the distance from farm to fork. Buy straight from the farm, frequent your local farmers’ market, or join a local food co-op.
Buy organic food to keep your body and the environment free of toxic pesticides. Support farmers and companies who use organic ingredients.
Grow your own organic garden, or join a farm-share group.
Reduce your meat consumption to curb carbon emissions from the livestock industry.
Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head.
Fix leaky faucets and shower-heads.
Run your dishwasher only when it’s full to save water and energy.
Conserve water outdoors by only watering your lawn in the early morning or late at night.
Wash your clothes only when necessary, use cold water and line dry.
Pull out invasive plants in your yard or garden and replace them with native ones.
Turn off and unplug electronics you’re not using. This includes turning off your computer at night.
Turn off lights when you leave a room.
Install solar panels on your roof.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator to save energy (and get exercise!).
Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer to reduce your carbon footprint by 2,000 pounds.
Contact your utility company and find out about renewable energy options.
Use energy-efficient appliances and electronics.