Earth Day Activities For Adults

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There are a number of ways people get involved on Earth Day, either by planting a tree, cleaning up litter or changing out harmful light bulbs in their home. No act is too small and they all count! Here are some ways you can get involved to celebrate Earth Day by making a difference.

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Earth Day Activities You Can Do

There are a number of Earth Day events in your area that you can find by going to You can also plan an event yourself if you have something in mind, or want to copy an event you see in another area.

  • Calculate your carbon footprint: Want motivation for participating in Earth Day events? Why not see just how much carbon your lifestyle contributes to the planet with's carbon footprint calculator
  • Go global: Before you begin participating in local Earth Day activities, consider contributing to an international charity supporting environmentalism and clean water around the world. Organizations like charity:water help provide clean water for people in need around the globe. You can also support a charity that helps clean up the oceans, fights pollution or works to protect rain forests. Whichever you choose, it's nice to know you've made an impact outside of your immediate neighborhood. 
  • Pick up litterMany people get together in groups with friends and family to go out and pick up litter at a park or local beach, or even right on your own Main Street. It doesn’t require much planning, so you have a good chance of getting people to join in – and may find some people joining in as you go.
  • Plant treesIf you want to get your hands in the earth, you can gather your friends and family to help plant a tree on your property, or see if you can get permission to plant a tree in your community, at a park or local school. Talk to your neighbors and see if they are willing to also plant a tree on their property, or help with your effort to plant trees on community property.
  • Start recyclingYour Earth Day contribution could also be to start recycling in your home or switch to using renewable energy. You might not be able to install solar panels on your house or apartment, but you can switch out energy sucking appliances, and replace them with energy efficient models. Separate your trash into recyclable and non-recyclable items, and get in the habit of buying recycled materials.
  • Begin compostingYou may have heard of composting, which is nature’s way of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil, known as compost. Deciding to compost is a popular activity for Earth Day. Compost can be used in your garden as it is a very good source of nutrition for plants. Composting biodegrades your food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, wood and crop residue, making it into something very good for the environment – which is a win-win!
  • Involve your officeCheck with your employer to see if they would like to participate in the Earth Day activities. Maybe they don’t recycle printer toner, paper and aluminum cans- materials many businesses go through quickly. When businesses go green, in addition to helping the Earth, they can often times get tax deductions or other financial benefits, so see if your company is open to making an Earth Day commitment. This can save money for home businesses too!
  • Clean a local water sourceCleaning up a local waterway like a river or stream to remove garbage and debris is also a great way to celebrate Earth Day. You can also commit to helping people in other parts of the world, like Africa, to help get access to clean water. Earth Day is also a day for education about the Earth and realizing how you can help other communities that may need the things you take for granted – like clean water to drink and bath in.

And while these actions are great for adults, do get your kids involved. They love to plant, dig, compost, recycle, and be a part of anything that seems fun that they see adults doing. It’s fun to get creative with kids and think of ways to do things differently to help the Earth.

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The History Of Earth Day

Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson’s idea for Earth Day was to create an event for environmental activism and enlighten everyone on the idea of widespread support for environmental issues. Nelson’s plan was so successful that it inspired grassroots support for environmental legislation including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and the need to protect wilderness areas in the U.S. In fact, it was only three years later after Nelson’s Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970 that the Environmental Protection Agency was created. has a campaign called One Billion Acts of Green, asking people, businesses and governments to record their acts of kindness toward the earth. No matter how you reduce carbon emissions – whether just in your home or in a big company, millions of acts have been recorded and they want to reach one billion. 

Go online and you will be inspired by the myriad of ways people have gotten involved to save the Earth, and make sure you log onto and share your contributions!

Last Updated: March 13, 2013
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About Leah Gillis Leah Gillis has worked for several major news outlets, as well as a television series on home buying and decor. Having grown up in New England, she has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Milan. When not trying to get a great deal, she is often found reading something, writing something or talking to someone.

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