Looking for some fun Earth Day ideas + activities to do? You’ve come to the right place! I personally love Earth Day because it’s the one day of the year where everyone kind of pauses and reflects on this beautiful planet we all share. But I also live every day like it’s earth day, which I think more people should do. I hope you do! Regardless, here are 40 Earth Day ideas and activities for you to practice alone, or with friends and family. I’ve organized it into three categories: Low cost, conscious spending, and getting crafty (aka upcycling!).
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40 Earth Day Ideas + Activities
Low to No-Cost Earth Day ideas
- Get outside. Sometimes the simplest way to appreciate the Earth is the best way – enjoying nature! Take a hike, go for a nature walk, a jog outside, a bike ride, a dip in the ocean. Anything!
- Check and see if there are any Earth Day festivals or events in your area. I know there are some in mine – like a car-free allotted space, a foraging tour, and a whole festival full of crafts, lectures, and interactive events! Search Earth Day events or festivals near you.
- Pick up some trash! You don’t have to be involved in a local cleanup (though that would be amazing!) to do this – just walk around the neighborhood with some protective gloves and pick up what you see. Might be handy to have a bag with you to put the trash in too.
- Read some zero waste books or watch some documentaries.
- Microplastics were found in our blood, lungs, feces, and placentas. Learn how to avoid microplastics (as much as humanely possible).
- Plant some trees around your neighborhood! The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. Also, one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.
- Call your local representative and tell them you want them to enact strong climate policies. What are some problems your area is experiencing? Maybe too much litter, not enough green spaces, no access to composting? Tell your reps you want something done about it. Even better if you give them a solution!
- Up your recycling game. Look into your local .gov to find out what you can recycle in your area. Typically, plastics #1 (PET) and Plastics #2 (HDPE) are the easiest plastics to recycle. Unless stated otherwise, plastic films cannot be recycled with curbside programs. Look and see if there’s plastic film recycling near you. For aluminum film, save up small foil wrappers until it’s about the size of your fist when bunched together to ensure it gets recycled. For glass, most glass is recyclable but items like Pyrex, ceramics, frosted glass, and broken glass are not recyclable.
- Learn the difference between biodegradable vs. compostable. Yes it matters.
- Start composting! If you live in a small space, fear not – here’s how to compost in an apartment. Also here’s a helpful guide to what’s compostable around the home.
- Start eliminating food waste from your home. Food waste is a huge problem that contributes to the climate crisis. When we dump our food scraps or leftovers into the garbage, they don’t properly decompose in a landfill and just release methane gas. Here are a few reasons we should prevent food waste.
- Plant something from seed. Nothing is more magical than watching something grow from a teeny tiny seed. Lettuce, basil, and most other herbs are pretty easy to grow from seed.
- Regrow your produce. Save the tops of carrots, the bottoms of lettuce and try to regrow them by placing them in some shallow water and sunlight. Once it sprouts roots, put it in the soil!
- Hit up your local library! It’s one of the last places you can go without spending any money. And, it’s a great example of a sharing economy. You can get books, CDs, DvDs, magazines, newspapers all for free there. Plus you get access to computers, workspace, copiers and printers. Not to mention they offer free classes and events all the time. Definitely utilize your local library for a more sustainable future.
- Try a no spend month – great way to save money and reduce resource consumption.
- Plant a pollinator garden. Saving our pollinators is so incredibly important! Get your kids or loved ones to help you too.
- Switch to one of these zero waste makeup brands. Not only do they prevent waste (some have refill schemes, others use compostable packaging, etc.) but they also utilize safe + non-toxic ingredients.
- Check out one of these zero waste stores for all your eco needs. They’re great alternatives to Amazon and sell tons of plastic-free alternatives.
- Go thrifting before buying new. Check out your local thrift stores – they’ll likely have a large selection of clothes but also other items too, like cookware, toys, movies, jewelry, books and sometimes even furniture.
- Make the switch to zero waste shaving. Investing in a reusable safety razor is so worth it and will get you the smoothest shave ever!
- Shop at the farmers market and bulk food store whenever possible. I love using these reusable produce bags. Here are my go-to farmers market essentials.
- Opt for zero waste shampoo brands like Plaine Products or EcoRoot’s shampoo bars. They’re not packaged in wasteful plastic and made with much better ingredients for both you and the planet.
- Stock up on these zero waste essentials. They’re game changers!
- Got dry skin? Check out these zero waste lotions. Did you know lotion bars are a thing??
- Switch to zero waste lip balm for the Chapstick without the plastic (and bonus, no weird artificial ingredients).
- Start taking sustainable vitamins and supplements that don’t harm earth, or you.
- Make the switch to one of these eco-friendly and zero waste laundry detergents.
- Invest in some zero waste period products. These really save you so much money in the long run and prevent tons of waste!
- Look into trying plastic-free toilet paper (that’s also tree-free).
- Give one of these zero waste dish soaps a try instead of anything that comes in a plastic bottle. Often, conventional dish soap also pollutes our waterways with its toxic ingredients.
- Upcycle some old toilet paper and paper towel rolls into bird feeders. Smear peanut butter on them, roll them in seeds, then hang them in a tree with twine.
- Upcycle milk jugs and milk cartons into plant containers. Just cut them in half, add soil and get planting.
- Use toilet paper rolls as seed starters – fill them with soil (but make sure the bottom is closed up), then place your seeds in it.
- Got some eggshells? Put them in a jar and pour hot water inside. Let them soak in the water overnight. Strain the shells in the morning and pour the tea right over your houseplant’s soil. Egg shells contain calcium carbonate. Once they’ve steeped, they can add calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium to the water. Isn’t that cool?
- Make some fun plant paints that you can use alone, or with kids! You can use them to paint on scrap paper, or on rocks and seashells!
- Find ways to decorate with nature. Get outside and explore the woods or a beach. What can you find to decorate the house with? Maybe you can make a living plant wreath from evergreens and local blooms? Or you can press some flowers to make pretty designs. Perhaps use certain plants to make plant dyes? Get creative – there’s no end to the possibilities.
- Use leaves and flowers to help you paint! Take a leaf or a flower and cover it in paint. Then, press it onto paper. You might have to use a weighted book for flowers to really get their shape. The fun is seeing if you’re able to capture the texture and shape of the plant onto paper!
- Into ceramics? Use a leaf or flower to press into your mold and add texture and depth.
- Make seed bombs from native flower seeds. Try to find a local Facebook group that’s all about native plants or local wildlife – ask them if they have any native flower seeds you can buy or collect. Then make the seed bombs!
- Construct a bug hotel for local pollinators. You can upcycle two-liter plastic bottles by cutting them into two cylinders, then packing them with sticks, pine cones and other natural materials tightly. Then hang them from the fence or a tree with some twine.
What do you think of these Earth Day ideas? Would you be willing to try them? Let me know in the comments!
Check out these 50 ways to celebrate Earth Month for even more inspo!
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