Spring has officially sprung, which means Earth Day is right around the corner. If you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors — whether you hike, bike, paddle, or ski — you have a lot to celebrate come April 22nd. And with ongoing threats to our planet and struggle to change course, it’s as important as ever to stop, think, and celebrate Mother Nature.
While there’s always work to be done when it comes to helping our planet, there’s room to enjoy it, too. Take some time this Earth Day to have fun, celebrate with friends, and make a positive difference in whatever way you can.
Feeling stuck? No problem. We’ve come up with 8 ways to have fun — and make a difference — this upcoming Earth Day.
1. Have an Earth-Friendly Picnic
Nothing says “celebration” like good food and company. If the weather allows, prepare and enjoy a picnic outdoors with friends or family. Make the prep fun and earth-friendly, too. Head to the farmers market, food co-op, or local market to grab fresh produce, cheese, bread, and other goodies. Support local farmers and make your meal more sustainable by buying locally grown food.
Make your picnic as low-waste as possible. Pack your meal in reusable containers, bring camping dishes or lightweight plates to eat off of, and use washable cloth napkins. Go the extra mile by picking up a growler of your favorite locally-brewed beverage and have everyone bring their own camp mug.
And of course, make sure to leave no trace! Pack out all food scraps and garbage from your picnic location.
2. Take a Hike
While there is a lot of hard work to be done to reverse some of the damage we’ve been inflicting on the planet, you can take a step back to simply enjoy nature and remember why it’s worth protecting.
What better way to reconnect with the planet than by taking a hike? Pick one of your favorite trails or find something new on AllTrails or Hiking Project. It doesn’t have to be an hours-long expedition, either. A 30-minute jaunt on a local trail after work is sometimes all you need.
3. Volunteer in Your Community
If you’re interested in taking action and can donate some of your time, find a volunteer opportunity in your community. If you don’t know where to look, start by checking out local conservancies and nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are often looking for volunteers and may even have special Earth Day projects they’re hosting.
Bring a couple friends along, and you’ll have a great time — not to mention all the good you’ll be doing for the planet and your community.
4. Refresh Your Space
Does spring cleaning sound more like a chore than a way to celebrate? Before you skip ahead, hear us out.
Take a couple hours to declutter your house. Or, if you have limited time, pick a single room. Gather things you no longer want or use — like old board games, books, home goods, and clothes — and set them aside to donate.
Make a trip to the thrift store and bring your donations along. It’ll feel great to put your things to good use again. Plus, you can do some sustainable shopping while you’re there! Look around for some second-hand gems that will bring fresh energy to your space. Give new books, household decor, and anything that catches your eye a new home. You’ll refresh your space, give your unused items a new home, and avoid purchasing brand-new things — it’s a win-win-win!
5. Try a Low-Waste Challenge
You could set aside a day, a week, or — if you’re really dedicated — even a whole month for this activity. This challenge is a simple yet profound way to change your habits by first taking stock of your current trash output.
Here’s how it works: Keep track — via spreadsheet or old fashioned pen and paper — of each individual item of garbage you throw out for the length of your challenge. You could narrow it down to a specific type of garbage — plastic is a great place to start — to make it a little easier.
Analyze your spreadsheet at the end of the challenge. What single-use items did you keep throwing away? What reusable items can you replace it with?
Make this a community challenge by getting friends, family, or colleagues in on it. Have everyone contribute a small amount of money for a prize. Use it to buy a gift card to a local, sustainable restaurant or make a donation to a local conservancy in the winner’s name.
6. Plant Something
A classic Earth Day activity, planting a tree is wonderful — but not always possible.You can find a way to plant something this Earth Day that you can continue to care for in the future.
Depending on where you live, you can start a little garden at home. If you have limited space or poor soil, you can garden in raised beds on the patio. No patio? You might be able to grow potted herbs indoors.
If you don’t have the space or sunlight necessary to grow anything at home, you might be able to tend to a community garden. Community gardens are as unique as the communities they’re part of, so do some research and look into how you can get involved with one in your area.
7. Watch a Documentary
April showers in full swing? We hope that doesn’t keep you from enjoying a rainy-day hike. But if you’d rather stay indoors, you can inspire and educate yourself with a fantastic, Earth-celebrating documentary. Here are a few to check out:
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet — The famous David Attenborough reflects on his career exploring many corners of the world and the alarming changes he’s noticed — as well as his ideas for the future. Available on Netflix.
Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands — This film by Patagonia explores the significance of public lands in America and the ongoing challenges that continue to threaten their protection. Available on Patagonia.com.
Jane Goodall: The Hope — Like the name suggests, this special, featuring Jane Goodall and her continuing legacy, is an inspiring film that follows her life as environmental activist.
8. Read a Book
Anyone else’s idea of a celebration curling up with a good book?
Whether you’re looking for inspiration, actionable advice, or a good old adventure tale, there’s a book to make your Earth Day celebration just what you want. Grab your beverage of choice, get comfy (Head outside, if it’s nice!) and dig into a nature-inspired book.
Need some ideas? Check out our blog post about our favorite adventure books or browse the nature section at your local library.
How Will You Celebrate Earth Day?
Which of these activities will you be doing on Earth Day? Whether you’re cozying up with a good nature read or volunteering with your neighbors, we hope you find moments of inspiration, fun, and gratitude.
Let us know how you celebrate! Take a photo of your Earth Day activities and tag us on Instagram with #cloudlinesocks. Happy Earth Day!