This Earth Day is the 52nd anniversary of the very first Earth Day, and while the people of the world have continuously come together to try to celebrate our earth and solve our environmental problems over the past 52 years, we find ourselves in need of environmental action more than ever in 2022.
Earth Day 2022 — with the theme “Invest in Our Planet” — is a day to refocus, regroup and remember why we celebrate this day: because we love this planet we share and want it to thrive. With that in mind, let’s vow to make this Earth Day one to remember by doing something that’s truly good for the earth. Not just words, but actions.
To help you start your Earth Day activity planning, the FiveADRIFT team has put together this list of 20 ways to celebrate Earth Day 2022. Read on.
1. Teach the Kids About the Earth
Teaching children to love our planet is a long-term investment in the earth. The good news is that our world has no shortage of natural wonders that can keep kids’ attention for at least as long as their favorite cartoon characters.
Pick an earth-related topic that interests you — the importance of pollinators or how trees give us the oxygen we breathe are great examples — and set aside an hour or two on Earth Day 2022 to talk to your kids about it. Come prepared to answer questions, and don’t hesitate to bring in visual aids.
2. Plant a Tree
In a world drowning in carbon dioxide, trees are a life preserver. In one year, a fully matured tree can absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide. That’s why planting a tree is the perfect way to celebrate the earth on Earth Day this year.
3. Plant a Garden
While you’ve got your jeans dirty, you might as well break ground on that garden you’ve been thinking about for so long. This is an all-day outdoor event that can get the whole family in the Earth Day mindset.
Why? Because gardens are inherently good for the earth. When you grow your own food, you buy less of the food that was transported halfway around the world to reach your grocery store. That means your carbon footprint instantly takes a nosedive. On top of that, you can grow your veggies organically and skip the soil- and wildlife-harming pesticides used on industrial farms.
4. Make Eco-Friendly Resolutions
Who says resolutions are just for the new year? Earth Day 2022 is the perfect time to make a new resolution for the year to come. And make it one that will actually help the earth. Examples include eating less meat, biking instead of driving and using less single-use plastic.
5. Call Your Senators
Here’s a secret you may not know: Every single call to your senators and other representatives is recorded and tallied up. Even if you leave a voicemail, an intern or staffer listens to it, categorizes it and writes it down. Then, at the next meeting with your senator, the subjects that had a large number of calls from citizens get some attention.
In other words, you have power, and you can exercise it by calling your senators on Earth Day. Pick an environmental cause you feel strongly about and let your senator know you want them to take action on it. You can find your representatives’ contact information here.
6. Take a Walk
Pick one regular destination you would usually drive to and walk instead. This is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. It cuts down on carbon emissions, gets your body moving and gives you time to quietly reflect on the environment in which you live.
7. Clean Up Your Park
If you want to get out in nature and do some good for Earth Day 2022, consider joining or forming a cleanup effort at your local park, wildlife reserve or neighborhood green space. The EarthDay.org charity has provided a handy tool on its website to allow you to find cleanups near you or register your own so others can join.
8. Enjoy Earth-Inspired Art
Since the earliest days of humanity, people have created art that celebrates the earth and its wonders. But you don’t have to find a cave painting to enjoy some earth-inspired art. Musicians, poets, painters, photographers and all kinds of other artists create new, breathtaking works that put the earth front and center every day.
If you’re looking for art that speaks specifically about the earth and the problems it faces right now, check out the video below. It’s a spoken-word poem from former National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman:
9. Go Meatless
You’ve probably heard of Meatless Mondays. That’s a fantastic idea, but there’s no reason you can’t go meatless this Earth Day 2022, which falls on a Friday. Global meat consumption is one of the key drivers of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and skipping meat can reduce your carbon footprint by eight pounds per day and save 133 gallons of water per meatless meal.
10. Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
If you’re looking to make a positive change in your daily life, you have to start with a baseline understanding of your actual impact on the environment. One major way to measure that is through your carbon footprint.
This Earth Day, sit down with your family and calculate your carbon footprint using this carbon footprint calculator or a similar one. Then, talk as a family about ways you can reduce that footprint.
11. Tally Up Your Plastic Use
Another way to measure your environmental impact is through your plastic consumption. Microplastics and plastics in landfills are a major driver of environmental contamination in our oceans and other key ecosystems, so reducing your plastic use means helping the environment.
EarthDay.org has created a handy calculator, as well as a long list of tips to reduce plastic consumption, that can help you get started.
12. Go on a Reusable Shopping Spree
Ready to stop using single-use plastics? Earth Day 2022 is the perfect day to prepare for this important change in your habits. Use this day to figure out the reusable items you will need and go to the store and buy them all.
13. Make Your Yard a Pollinator Party Pad
Pollinators like bees are under threat from environmental change and pollution, and they are essential to our ecosystems and food systems. This Earth Day, you can make a difference for the pollinators in your community by planting a pollinator-friendly garden in your yard. Follow these instructions from the National Wildlife Federation, and you’re all set.
14. Pack an Organic Picnic
Here’s a relaxing way to spend Earth Day: Pack a picnic basket full of organic, environmentally friendly goodies and head down to your favorite natural hangout for a leisurely picnic. Make it a solo excursion or take the whole family — in either case, take a few minutes to appreciate the natural beauty we all have so close to home.
15. Hit the Farmers’ Market
Farmers’ markets are a haven for local food fanatics, and eating local reduces carbon emissions drastically. If there’s a farmers’ market in your area, make a day of it this coming Earth Day. Head down with cash in hand, and enjoy all the local, fresh produce you could ever want.
16. Donate to an Environmental Nonprofit
This one is simple but effective if you’re worried about the state of our planet: Donate to an environmental nonprofit. If you’re not sure where your donation would be best spent, check out this list of highly rated environmental nonprofits from Charity Navigator.
17. Visit a National Park
National parks are a testament to the wonder and beauty of our beloved earth. Why not visit one to celebrate Earth Day this year? Find a park with this handy map, and get ready for an unforgettable outdoor experience.
18. Go Paperless
You don’t even have to get off the couch to do this Earth Day 2022 celebration: Get your computer and enroll in paperless billing for every single bill you get. No one wants paper bills in the mail, anyway, and going paperless means fewer trees are cut down and processed to make all those paper bills that end up in your trash can.
19. Make a Meal with Only Local Ingredients
Most holidays have a big celebratory meal involved, but Earth Day isn’t one of them. Let’s change that. For Earth Day 2022, plan a big meal that’s friendly to the earth. That means the ingredients need to be local and organic. Bonus points if it’s vegetarian or vegan.
20. Hit the Beach with Sustainable Beach Towels
If you’re anywhere near the water, Earth Day 2022 is the perfect time to hit the beach. And when you do, make sure you do it sustainably by taking along a sustainable, plastic-free beach towel from FiveADRIFT.
Each towel you purchase removes 75 plastic bottles from the ocean because we donate 100% of our profits to ocean cleanup charities. Shop earth-friendly towels now.