When Is Earth Day 2024? A Guide
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When Is Earth Day 2024? A Guide

Be kind to our planet

The world’s largest annual event is fast approaching – and it’s all about protecting our planet. Over 1 billion people are expected to participate in Earth Day 2024 in some capacity, whether it’s by joining a protest, planting a tree or joining in on social media. Here’s exactly what Earth Day is all about.

Earth Day 2024

A hand holding a mini Earth

What Is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event to support and encourage environmental protection. It was first held in the US on 22 April 1970 after being proposed by John McConnell at the 1969 UNESCO Conference, as a day to celebrate the earth and the concept of peace. Coming to fruition a year later – and purposefully non-religious and non-political – Earth Day has since grown into a global celebration of mother nature, and is the largest secular celebration of one day in the world. While it has its roots in public health concerns, especially air pollution and oil spills, Earth Day is now much more focussed on the climate crisis as a whole.

Earth Day typically involves educational talks and panels, tree planting exercises, and volunteer clean-ups of beaches, waterways and natural areas. As well as celebration, Earth Day is about protest and lobbying governments to better protect our planet. Environmental laws that have been passed in the US on or because of Earth Day include:

  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • The Clean Air Act
  • The Clean Water Act
  • The Endangered Species Act
  • The Toxic Substances Control Act

Elsewhere, on Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by over 120 countries, including the US, the UK and China – the most significant climate accord in history. Fast forward to Earth Day 2020 and over 100 million people around the world observed Earth Day’s fiftieth anniversary.

A protest sign with a painting of the Earth and the words 'One World'

When Is Earth Day 2024?

Earth Day is observed on 22 April every year.

What Is The Theme For 2024?

The Earth Day 2024 theme is Planet vs. Plastics, with earthday.org demanding a 60 percent reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. The organisation is also calling for widespread awareness of the health risk of plastics, while urging a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, demanding an end to fast fashion and pushing for better, more widespread education on the health risks of plastics, especially for babies.

Coinciding with Earth Day 2024 is the continued negotiations for the United Nations Global Plastic Treaty. Governments and NGOs will gather in Ottowa to continue this discussion.

The 2024 theme is a change from the previous two Earth Days, 2022 and 2023, which shared the theme ‘Invest In Our Planet’. Previous Earth Day themes include:

  • 2007: Be kind to the earth – starting from saving resources
  • 2008: Trees Please
  • 2009: How Do You Get Around?
  • 2010: Reduce
  • 2011: Clear the Air
  • 2012: Mobilize the Earth
  • 2013: The Face of Climate Change
  • 2014: Green Cities
  • 2015: Water Wonderful World & Clean Earth – Green Earth
  • 2016: Trees for the Earth
  • 2017: Environmental and Climate Literacy
  • 2018: End Plastic Pollution
  • 2019: Protect Our Species
  • 2020: Climate Action
  • 2021: Restore Our Earth

How To Celebrate Earth Day

Organise A Teach-In

Educating ourselves and others is crucial in our fight to save the planet, so why not set up a teach-in? You can find advice on how to do this on the Earth Day website, with suggestions for topics to discuss, alongside information on how to create a virtual event.

Beach clean

© Getty Images

Organise A Cleanup

A brilliant Earth Day idea is to participate in The Great Global Cleanup. Get a group together – you can register your clean here – or go it alone. The Earth Day website suggests heading to your favourite walking trail and picking up litter, or even just embarking on a clear out in your home by considering the waste you create and removing single-use items.

Fancy getting a bit of exercise in while you’re at it? Give plogging a go. Also known as ‘eco-running,’ the endeavour involves collecting plastic litter from the streets as you run, jog or hike. Not only will your efforts benefit the planet, plogging will have you using a variety of different muscles as you bend, squat and reach for rubbish.

Forest Canopy

© Getty Images

Donate To The Canopy Project

Launched in 2010, Earth Day, in partnership with The Canopy Project, has seen tens of millions of trees planted and has worked to combat the devastating deforestation of areas around the world. You can donate here – as little as $1 plants a tree.

Learn Something New

While Earth Day is brilliant for putting the planet front and centre, we should of course be making sustainable choices every day. To find out more, check out our roundup of books, documentaries and podcasts about the environment, which are all packed with useful tips and information.

Sewing table featuring scissors, spools of pink and white thread, rulers and a tape measure.

Shop More Sustainably

With the fashion industry accounting for around 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, it is more vital than ever that we reduce our fast fashion consumption and instead look to pre-loved items to fulfil our appetite for style. There are boundless options to make your shopping habits more sustainable, from heading to vintage stores, using fashion repair services, or renting rather than buying pieces. Likewise, finding ways to mend your clothing – even if the best option isn’t totally carbon neutral – increases the lifecycle of your items and is less harmful than sending them to landfill and purchasing something new.

You can also embrace sustainability outside the realms of fashion: delve into the world of vintage furniture, refill your favourite beauty products, or learn about where you can transform old jewellery pieces into glittering new treasures. These little tricks will help you establish a more eco-friendly lifestyle – not just for Earth Day, but all year round.

Dine At An Eco-Friendly Restaurant

If you fancy eating out, why not head to a more sustainable spot this Earth Day? We’ve handpicked the best eco-friendly restaurants which champion seasonal ingredients and support local businesses.

Immerse Yourself In Nature

Explore the best of the British countryside: try out some seasonal recipes, walk, swim or forage to your heart’s content, and gain a stronger appreciation of the importance of our earth.

EXPLORE

Discover more about Earth Day and how to get involved at earthday.org