Earth Day is probably the greenest of all green holidays, if not the most popular.
But did you know there are more than 50 green holidays?
Earth Day is considered somewhat of a “Hallmark Holiday” for most environmentalists. We’re all about living our lives as sustainably as possible—some more than others—on a daily basis. It’s not about perfection, though… it’s about doing our best with what we’ve got. Take me, for example: It makes no sense for me to buy a hybrid car when I already own a somewhat decent 2003 VW station wagon with less than 80,000 miles. If we could afford solar panels, they’d be on my roof right now. I do, however, buy organic food and limit my family’s meat consumption whenever possible. You’ll find absolutely no plastic baggies or storage containers in my house, but you’ll see the environmental-disaster-waiting-to-happen keurig single-cup coffee machine on my kitchen counter (a gift to my son purchased by my hubby, despite my pleading against it). Fortunately, they drink the coffee only on weekends.
I’m happy there’s an Earth Day—it’s important to remind the world that the Earth is worth celebrating and that there are things we can do to help make the world safer for future generations. What better day than Earth Day to kick off a new eco-resolution, whether it’s switching to eco-friendly home cleaning products and organic food or adding solar panels to your roof. Or maybe you’re ready to go meatless on Mondays! Or use reusable shopping bags every time you go shopping.
Earth Day isn’t the only environmental holiday…
Before you dig in to all of them, I hope you’ll listen to the special Earth Day edition of the Green Divas Radio Show, featuring environmental superhero Ed Begley Jr.!
Here’s a list of over 50 green holidays you could celebrate virtually every day.
Note: This week is also Dark Sky Week and National Parks Week! We’re also in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), Water for Life Decade (2005-2015) and United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (2010-2020).
- Green New Year’s Resolution – January 1 (a made up holiday, but why not participate?)
- World Wetlands Day – February 2
- World Sparrow Day – March 20
- World Forestry Day – March 21
- World Water Day – March 22
- World Meteorological Day – March 23
- Earth Hour – Last Saturday of March
- Earth Day – April 22
- Chemists Celebrate Earth Day – April 22
- Arbor Day – Last Friday in April (each state also has its own observation based on best tree planting time)
- Green Up Day – first Saturday of May in Vermont
- International Migratory Bird Day – Second Saturday in May in the U.S. and Canada
- Greenery Day – May 4 in Japan (previously April 29)
- International Day for Biological Diversity (World Biodiversity Day) – May 22
- Bike-to-Work Day – Third Friday in May
- National Trails Day – First Saturday in June
- World Environment Day – June 5
- World Oceans Day – June 8
- Global Wind Day – June 15
- World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – June 17
- World Population Day – July 11
- International Tiger Day – July 29
- World Elephant Day – August 12
- National Wildlife Day – September 4
- International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – September 16
- Clean Up the World Weekend – 3rd weekend in September
- Zero Emissions Day  – September 21
- International Day of Peace – September 21
- World Car Free Day – September 22
- Ecological Debt Day (Earth Overshoot Day) – August 20 in 2013 but changes. It’s the (claimed) approximate calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. Since 2001, Overshoot Day has moved ahead by an average of three days per year.
- World Rivers Day – every last Sunday in September
- World Habitat Day – first Monday in October
- World Vegetarian Day – October 1
- World Animal Day – October 4
- International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction – second Wednesday in October
- World Planting Day – October 22
- International Day of Climate Action – October 24
- World Vegan Day – November 1
- International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict – November 6
- America Recycles Day – November 15(ish)
- World Soil Day – December 5
- International Mountain Day – December 11
Here are special week-long, year-long and even decade-long environmental/ earth related events.
Keep in mind, the actual dates vary by year.
- National Park Week – April 19-27
- Dark Sky Week – April 20-26
- Bike to Work Week Victoria
- National Clean Beaches Week – July 1 to 7
- Conservation Week
- European Mobility Week – September 16 to 22
- Bike Week – second week in June
- Recycle Week – 20 to 26 June 2011
- Green Office Week
- Junk Mail Awareness Week – First Week of October
- European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) – 9 days, last complete week in November
- No Car Day – China, week of September 22
- International Polar Year – 1882–1883
- International Polar Year – 1932–1933
- World Population Year – 1974
- International Year of the Ocean (IYO) – 1998
- International Year of Mountains (IYM) – 2002
- International Year of Ecotourism (IYE) – 2002
- International Year of Freshwater (IYF) – 2003
- International Year of Deserts and Desertification – 2006
- International Year of the Dolphin – 2007–2008
- International Polar Year – 2007–2009
- International Year of Planet Earth – 2008
- International Year of Sanitation – 2008
- International Year of Natural Fibres 2009
- Year of the Gorilla – 2009
- International Year of Biodiversity – 2010
- International Year of Forests – 2011
- International Drinking Water Decade, 1981-1990
- International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction – 1990s
- United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development – 2005-2014
- Water for Life Decade – 2005-2015
- United Nations Decade on Biodiversity – 2010-2020
Did I miss any? Please let me know.
Images via shutterstock.
Earth illustration via myEARTH360.
Green Diva Meg
April 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm
so many amazing reasons and ways to join in the celebration of momma earth! great job GD Lynn. gotta bookmark this one for sure!
Green Diva Lynn
April 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm
Thanks, GD Meg. I think we need our own Green Divas Day!
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