Earth Day Event Ideas
Many people throughout the world have had a tradition of expressing their environmental commitments through Earth Day. If you have a desire to join the festivities but don't know what you can do for Earth Day just do anything that is meaningful to you and for the environment! The most typical and popular public events have been fairs, festivals and parades. Clean-ups are usually held the week or month before or after. Each year over 100 local Earth Day fairs are held around the country.
Idea List for Earth Day
The following ideas have been used successfully for Earth Day in different communities and cities. They will be a good start for you as well.
1. Clean up or restore rivers, lakes, streams, beaches, trails, communities, graffiti.
Encourage people to sign an Earth Day pledge or hang a communal "pledge board" where people can write their environmental pledge for the year ("I will turn off the lights when I leave the room", etc.)
Get the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, Governor or other officials to issue Earth Day proclamations. Send them a sample and invite them to create one of their own. Organize a public meeting which will provide an opportunity to public officials to express their environmental commitment as well as to other community members attending the meeting.
Make sure that every event features a table with sample letters written on several issues. Consider selling stamps, postcards or pre-stamped envelopes and collecting letters or postcards to be mailed. You can also put up petitions in this area.
5. Grocery Bags on Earth Day!
Have each student in the local high school adorn a paper grocery bag from a local store with a picture of the earth, the words "Earth Day 2015", the name of their school, and some catchy Earth Day slogan like "Re-duce, Re-use, Re-cycle ", "Treat the Earth Well ". Once the bags are decorated, get them back to the store to be distributed to shoppers on Earth Day and/or during Earth Week - depending on how many bags will be made.
6. Fair Scavenger Hunt or "Walkaround"
At your local fair or festival submit a question or a number of questions for the hunt, the answer to which can be found in the exhibit. The examples of the questions are: What percentage of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is from cars and mini vans? What living organism is responsible for the problems suffered by shade trees?
The prizes can be donated by participating businesses or exhibitors and don't have to be fancy - packages of seeds, wooden pencils, baking soda shakers – simple and inexpensive environmentally friendly prizes that also help build awareness. When the event is over, you may even distribute the scavenger hunt list with answers to local teachers so they could use this information in their classrooms.
7. Food Area or Festival
As a rule a food event always draws a bigger crowd than non-food ones. Consider inviting the area farmers to bring locally-grown, organic produce. Food festivals that engage representatives from the natural and organic foods network educate people about the environmental and health impacts of food choices. Ask local-food restaurants, nutrition groups and organic food suppliers to offer vegetarian far in order to raise public awareness. In some cities, successful fund-raising events were held around food choice issues.
8. Community Report Card
Earth Day is a suitable opportunity to review a prior year's progress in environmental issues. Invite public officials and citizens to rate the city on its air, water, transportation, green spaces, handling of hazardous waste and toxins, recycling, etc. You may submit reports and comments to your City Council.
9. Earth Parade, Children's Earth Parade
Have a parade! Consider using alternative vehicles, mask-wearing marchers and non-motorized floats.
Use local talent to organize a concert.
Hold a contest: poster, essay, slogans & themes, poetry, photographs, plays, songs, art, public service announcements, etc. Award the winners at a culminating event and invite local businesses or individuals to donate prizes for different age groups.
12. Construct an Environmental Maze
Shopping malls with large grassy areas are a great place to build an Earth Day Maze. Consider charging admission to raise funds.
13. Plant Trees or other Appropriate Vegetation
Work with local tree-planting groups. You may partner with local botanists, biologists, and land owners to figure out the scope and needs of each ecosystem. Check with local parks and reserves for problem areas.
14. Build a Life-Sized Sculpture
The sculpture must be built from recycled materials. Ask the community to save their newspapers, plastic jugs and aluminum cans some time prior to Earth Day. Then, on a designated day, everyone should bring their recyclables at a chosen site. Using any marking devices, "draw" your picture on the ground and then fill it with the jugs, papers and glass. Make sure you use different colors of the recyclables to create the picture. When the event is over, have volunteers to pass the recyclables to waiting trucks. This is an extremely effective, educational and fun activity which is sure to grab the attention of the public.
15. Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Collect paint, used auto products such as motor oil and batteries, solvents, etc. This expensive, but a worthy goal will require city or county coordination and participation.
16. Paint an Educational Earth Day Mural
You can hold a contest in a local school or ask a local artist to paint it on a visible town building.
17. Host a Speaker or Make a Video on an Important Environmental Issue.
18. Write an Earth Day Article
Write an article for your school, business or group newsletter, and send it to your local newspaper.
19. Give "Environmental Hero" Awards
Consider organizing a banquet and fund-raiser. Prepare certificates and plant trees for winners. Solicit nominations from the community for heroes. For example, First Union National Bank printed their annual report on paper that had been recycled. They collected paper at work and returned it to the paper mill where it was recycled into new paper for the report. This full-circle project serves as a worthy example for many businesses to follow and shows how a business can create a new product from their own office waste. In 1992, First Union recycled more than 1,338 tons of paper.
20. Walk-A-Thon or Running Event
Design a course around a relevant environmental feature, park or issue.
21. Hold a Recycling or Energy Fair
Conduct an energy conservation or "Off the Grid" day with all the exhibits and activities concerning recycling or energy education.
22. Organize a Hike
Get people to hike through a nearby forest, canyon or other endangered habitat.
23. Unwanted Seedling Giveaway
Ask locals to dig up unwanted tree seedlings which sprout in their gardens and lawns and bring them to a common city site such as a Farmer's Market. Give away the collected trees on a designated day in the fall (around Thanksgiving) or in early spring. Try to find a corporate sponsor who will pay for the printing of an educational leaflet which would inform your community about common indigenous trees and their care and planting.
24. Produce a TV or Radio Show
Produce an environmental show for Earth Day and engage local students in its production.
25. Hold a Celebration of Trees
This event is borrowed from a Jewish culture. The celebration is based on the Jewish Holiday (celebrated in January) which involves food from trees, song, dance, and environmental readings. Contact your local Jewish leaders to learn more about the ceremony and get help.
26. Create a Community Garden
Consider reclaiming unused or mis-used plots of land for the benefit of the community by combining a clean-up with a garden planting.
Why not make a beneficial environmental impact this Earth Day?
Now is the time to begin thinking about the conservation of our planet. There is no time to wait. This year marks the 46th year of celebrating Earth Day. This movement consistently challenges the norm and inspires passion within people - which in turn puts them into action. Earth Day is highly beneficial to our planet.
Earth Day first began in 1970. This movement gave the world awareness of environmental issues at hand. Ever since we as a people put a conscious energy towards preserving our planet. Earth Day continues to bring about groundbreaking and innovative ideas on how to create a greener world.
April 22, 2016 is more than just a day. It is a decision that marks taking a stand for the conservation of the world we live in. It is a powerful moment in history. So, why not make something real happen this earth day. Why shouldn't we plant over 7 billion trees to give oxygen to earth? Or why not quit using fossil fuels and make our cities use renewable energy. Paris has made climate changes so why not keep the momentum and build our own. We need to start today, we need to start now, and we need to do so continuously.