Earth Day has been celebrated every year since 1970, and 50 years later its purpose remains the same: encourage social and political action by drawing attention to the cause. Every year, around the world, the damaged state of the environment comes to the forefront, and millions of people take the opportunity to pitch in — if only for a day.

If you’re one of those millions who would like to lend a hand in honor of Earth Day (April 22), you may be wondering what you can do.   Here are some great and fun ways to commemorate Earth Day.  And, the best part, is that you can celebrate Earth Day whenever you’d like! It’s great to do something nice for the environment every day.

  1. Plant a tree, or two, or three! Get your hands dirty and plant some native flowers or trees to help restore local habitats and keep our planet beautiful.
  2. Nothing says Earth Day like a rejuvenating hike and litter clean-up combo! This is a great way to get in your exercise for the day while helping to keep our planet beautiful.
  3. Try an outdoor yoga or stretching session. This is a great activity to help you concentrate on mind-body wellness while connecting with the outdoors.
  4. There’s no better time to get started on your spring cleaning than Earth Month! Use environmentally friendly cleaning products to make your home spotless and get rid of clutter by collecting gently used clothes, furniture, and other household items you no longer have a use for.
  5. Host a neighborhood clothing or toy swap. Find a new home for items you’re looking to part with, snag some “new” goods, and reduce waste by diverting your unwanted belongings from landfills.
  6. Host an electronic devices or equipment drive at your workplace or school to collect e-waste and other materials that can be difficult to recycle.
  7. Environmentally inspired Do-It-Yourself projects! Transform your old T-shirts into fun reusable shopping totes or create homemade stationary by making biodegradable seed paper.
  8. Earth Day is a great opportunity for us to reflect on our own ecological footprints and consider ways in which we can reduce our impact on a daily basis.  Look for places around your home or workplace where you can reduce waste, energy, and water use. Not only will you be conserving natural resources, but the savings you generate can help your wallet too!
  9. What about Earth Day resolutions? Create a list with some short term and long-term goals, or jot down some eco-minded ideas in a journal to inspire you to treat every day like Earth Day!

Some additional ideas-

  • Compost bins
  • Update light bulbs
  • Plant a tree-
  • Volunteer- join like-minded on a common task, like cleaning a park
  • Write a letter- to your congressman
  • Buy an offset- pay for clean power to offset dirty power you use
  • Pay online- save trees
  • Skip the bath- a 10-minute shower consumes up to 50 gallons of water, a bath takes up to 70 gallons. A typical family in Africa gets by on a tenth of that for a day, including drinking water.
  • Avoid the car

Keep It Going

The best way to celebrate Earth Day is to extend the celebration. So, if you commemorate Earth Day by setting up a compost bin, make sure you stick with composting your kitchen waste. If you skip a shower to save conserve water, make it a habit to conserve water in other small ways, like only running the washer or the dishwasher when there’s a full load.

Once you replace your lightbulbs, remember to turn them off when you leave the room. See if you can get a carpool together for work. Make planting a tree on Earth Day a yearly tradition.  If you find you like volunteering on Earth Day, maybe volunteer for the environment once a month.

The Earth will thank you for it, and Earth Day will have  done its job.

Written by Joelle Dunaetz, with excerpts and suggestions from Julia Layton.