April 22, 2020 marks the 50 year anniversary of Earth Day. The holiday was first celebrated in 1970 and has since become a global celebration of environmental protection in more than 193 countries.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this year’s Earth Day celebrations are now being held virtually. The great part is that it’s now much easier to attend events from all over the world in your own home!
This guide includes virtual events and activities that take place during Earth Month (April) and on Earth Day (April 22). I’ve also included educational resources for students and activities that you can do at home to make your abode more sustainable.
I’ll be updating this post throughout the month but if you come across another virtual event or resource that you’d like added to the post, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth Month Activities, Events, and More
2020 Robert C. Wood Visiting Professor of Public and Urban Affairs Lecture with Christiana Figueres
Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change and one of our picks for the top women leading the environmental movement. This year she was chosen as the 2020 Robert C. Wood Visiting Professor of Public and Urban Affairs at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. As part of the University’s Earth Week 2020 celebration, they’ll be live streaming her lecture titled The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis in the Age of COVID-19.
When: Thursday, April 16, 12:00-1:00 PM ET
#GreenQuarantine virtual learning sessions from Broadway Green Alliance
Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is hosting free virtual sessions aimed at harnessing creative ways to remain connected to each other and the earth. Their weekly sessions cover a variety of green topics and are hosted by members of the theatre and environmental community. Register here to join their sessions each Thursday from 1-2 PM EST.
When: Thursdays from 1-2 PM ET
WE ACT Virtual Earth Day 5K
Support for community based organizations is needed now more than ever. If you’d like to support WE ACT’s work to develop climate resilience for frontline communities, consider joining their Earth Day 5K virtual race during Earth Week. All registrants will receive free membership to the group and a WE ACT Earth Day t-shirt. Register to participate here.
When: April 18-26
Earth Day 50 Virtual Kick-Off
The Earth Day Initiative is kicking off Earth Day with a virtual event that will feature high-profile speakers, interactive presentations and workshops, and virtual exhibitor booths featuring environmental campaigns and sustainable causes. Connect with people around the work to move things in a positive direction, even when circumstances on the ground make it difficult to be with each other in person.
When: Sunday, April 19, 2020
Earth Day Climate Presentation Webinar from The CLEO Institute
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, The CLEO Institute will be holding a free virtual climate presentation in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools STEAM Department. This webinar will cover the science, impacts, and solutions to the climate crisis and include a Q&A portion.
When: Monday, April 20 from 12:50-2:20 PM ET
Earth Day Future 50 from The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Join the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with an event on April 20, 2020. The public is welcome to gather online with Stanford students, staff and faculty to hear reflections on how far we have come since the first Earth Day and what the next 50 years may hold for the future of the Earth. The program will include a panel discussion featuring Stanford alumni working at the intersections of energy, sustainability and the environment. These emerging leaders share their perspectives on progress made and what governments, companies, academics, and private citizens can do to give the planet and people living on it the best hope for a bright and sustainable future.
When: Monday, April 20, 1:30 PM PT
Zero Waste NYC Workshop Series: Deep Dive Into Food on Earth Day Webinar
Zero Waste NYC is partnering with Rhodora Wine Bar, a zero waste restaurant in Brooklyn, to offer a webinar on food waste in NYC, food packaging, and ways you can help reduce your own environmental footprint. Donate any amount to the group to gain access.
When: Monday, April 20, 7:00-8:30 PM ET
Earth Day 50: What’s the Big Deal About Microplastics from UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Inconspicuous plastic debris—called “microplastics”—have gained notoriety over the past decade due to their widespread presence across the planet. Plastic has transformed the way that humans operate, and while there are undeniable benefits associated with some plastic products, there are significant concerns related to the prevalence and persistence of plastics in the environment. Join their “What’s the Big Deal About Microplastics?” webinar, part of a monthly series anchored around the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
When: Thursday, April 23, 2020, 12:00-12:45 PM ET
Virtual Gowanus Spring Gala from Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Gowanus Canal Conservancy provides crucial education, volunteer, and advocacy programming year-round. To support their programs, they hold a celebratory Gala each spring. This year’s event will be held virtually so if you are able to donate to a great cause, make sure to attend!
When: Thursday, April 23
Virtual Earth Month with Anacostia Watershed Society
Anacostia Watershed Society is encouraging everyone to celebrate Earth Day by doing a solo or household cleanup. Grab a bag and clean up along your neighborhood walk or go to one of the sites they’ve identified as in need of help. Take a pic and tag with #AWSEarthDay and #AnacostiaRiverStrong and they may feature you on their blog, email, and social media!
When: All month long in April
Learn about renewable energy with Grouphug Solar’s Ridiculously Easy Guide to Solar Energy
If you’re considering using solar power at home, Grouphug Solar’s non-technical guide is a great way to learn more about renewable energy. Follow their Instagram account to view a new post each day and you’ll be a solar expert by the end of the month!
Earth Day Virtual Run Challenge
The goal of the Earth Day Virtual Challenge (24,901 Miles) is simple. During the month of April (Earth Day Month) Virtual Run Challenge will collectively see how many times participants can run the distance of the equator (24,901 miles). They need at least 415 participants to commit to run at least 2 miles a day for the month of April to make it at least once around the Equator. Joining is free and all you need to do is log your miles and report them via their results page.
When: All month long in April
Take a virtual tour of Hayward Gallery’s Among the Trees exhibit
Galleries and museums around the world are hosting virtual tours online that you can view. In honor of Earth Month, we suggest checking out Hayward Gallery’s Among the Trees group exhibition which looks at how artists over the past 50 year have explored our relationship with trees and forests.
When: All month long in April
Earth Day Activities and Events
On April 22-24, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, millions of people around the world are going online for a three-day mobilization to stop the climate emergency. Join for three days of action — from teach-ins, musical performances, divestment, and more. All you need is an internet connection.
When: All day
Digital Climate Strike with Fridays for Future
Join the Digital Climate Strike on April 22 by posting a picture of your protest sign with the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline.
When: All day
Carbon Drawdown Now! Building to Combat the Climate Crisis from the R.W. Kern Center
Come together and celebrate Earth Day from home with an interactive webinar presented by the R.W. Kern Center and NESEA. Join in to talk embodied carbon, systems thinking, and climate justice with Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton of New Frameworks Design & Build. The energy we spend constructing and operating buildings makes up a big portion of global carbon emissions. But buildings can become part of the climate crisis solution. The event will cover the major carbon emissions associated with building, how we can use systems thinking and creative material solutions to lower these emissions (or even take them negative!), and how carbon-smart building can advance climate justice. Bring your curiosity and questions to find out how you can be part of this climate solution.
When: 5:00-6:30 PM ET
Celebrate Earth Day with Water for People
Join for an online lunch-and-learn webinar to hear exciting Water for People updates. You’ll hear about Water for People’s unique approach, recent milestones, the role of World Water Corps volunteers, and plans for the upcoming Impact Tour.
When: 12:00-1:00 PM PT
Climate Change Conference in VR from Virtual World Arcade
Join climate change experts on Earth Day for panels, exhibition, networking, and art exhibit in 3D immersive virtual reality! Attendees may attend from anywhere in the world on computer or VR headset. This Coronavirus-free Climate Change Conference in VR is designed to connect experts from organizations around the world to share their projects and research and build partnerships to solve problems in climate change together.
When: 12:00-3:00 PM PT
Getting to Net Zero: Choices and Possibilities for Business, a Free Webinar Series from ClimateWise Business Network
The Canadian government have committed to a net zero emissions target by 2050. Small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in this transition to a zero emission economy. Join the ClimateWise Business Network’s webinar to understand the implications of the climate crisis on your markets, supply chains, and investment sources.
When: 9:00-10:00 AM ET
Earth Day Go Solar Webinar from Solar Oregon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Solar Oregon will be doing a webinar Basics of Solar Workshop. They’ll answer your questions about how solar works, share information about incentives available, and help you take the first step to adding solar on your home. Stay tuned for exciting guest speakers!
When: 12:00-1:30 PM PT
Intro to a Zero Waste Lifestyle with Simply Zero and Quidwell
Quidwell is partnering with Simply Zero this Earth Day to talk all things zero waste and low impact lifestyle. You’ll have the chance to ask Founder, Rachel Felous, all of your zero waste questions, stock up on zero waste essentials from her shop and connect with other curious community members virtually.
When: 5:30-7:00 PM ET
Webinar on the Importance of Renewable Energy for the Environment and Economy from StraightUp Solar
Solar energy has come a long way from the first Earth Day 50 years ago. Come learn about how far this form of renewable energy has come and see where they think it will go and grow. They will have special guests on this free webinar too.
When: 4:00-5:00 PM CT
70th Annual Environmental Engineering Conference by The Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering Department at The University of Kansas
Forced by circumstances to forego the usual face-to-face conference format, this year’s conference is being held exclusively online. This event is for municipal and utility engineers, consulting engineers, public works directors, plant superintendents and operators, representatives of state and federal agencies, technical support staff, and professors and students.
When: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM CT
Earth Day: From Tragedy to Strategy, an Online Panel Discussion from Vincit
How can strategic thinking tip the scales in favor of planetary health? Hear this and more during this online strategy panel discussion. This event aims to provide tools for decision-makers to be more strategic in their initiatives and for citizens looking to push the climate agenda to the next level.
When: 11:00-12:30 EEST
EARTHRISE: Earth Day Goes Digital from Earthday.org
Join Earthday.org for a global digital mobilization that drives actions big and small, gives diverse voices a platform, and demands bold action for people and the planet. Over the 24 hours of Earth Day, EARTHRISE will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins, and more.
When: All day
Prospect Park Alliance’s Annual Earth Day Celebration
The Prospect Park Alliance is moving their annual Earth Day celebration online this year. RSVP for free to receive digital resources to help you learn more about our world on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
When: All day
Educational Earth Day Activities & Resources for Students
Learn Earth Science with NASA Climate Kids
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has put together a great website with games, activities, videos and more where students can learn about Earth Science. From games about coral bleaching and wind power, to activities like making a terrarium, NASA Climate Kids offers plenty of educational resources for learning at home.
Remote Learning Resources from Billion Oyster Project
Billion Oyster Project has a huge library of online resources for educators and parents to lead STEM lessons at home. There’s content for all ages and also units for specific grades. Learn about oyster gardening, build your own hydrometer, document the water cycle and more!
Family-friendly STEM activities and lessons from + POOL
+ POOL has shared some homeschool ideas from their STEM curriculum for free on their website. Learn about water infrastructure, how water filters work, and the importance of clean water with their educational guides.
Stay connected to Girl Scouts around the world with Girl Scouts at Home
Bring the exploration, fun and learning of Girl Scouts to your family even when circumstances are keeping Girl Scouts from meeting up in person. Girls Scouts at Home offers free, self-guided activities to keep girls, troops, and communities connected. Explore by topics like outdoors and entrepreneurship or view activities by grade level to get started.
Environmental Education at Home with NEEF
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) has lots of activity guides and citizen science projects available for children of all ages to learn about environmental education. They’ll be updating the page regularly with new resources and activities so make sure to check back weekly!
Participate in Citizen Science Month with opportunities from SciStarter
In addition to being Earth Month, April is also Citizen Science Month! Celebrate both with their featured projects, which are perfect for beginners and follow along with themed days to find inspiration from their calendar.
Explore marine life from home with theBlu, an immersive virtual reality experience
If you have a VR headset at home, check out theBlu, a 3 episode series that takes you deep into aquatic environments where you can watch stingrays drift through the ocean, take pictures of turtles swimming around you, and even get up close and personal with a whale! Thanks to Torben from DIVEIN.com for sharing this activity.
Earth Day Activities to Make You and Your Home More Sustainable
Follow the EPA’s tips for reducing food waste at home
Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away every day. According to the EPA, about 94% of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. Luckily, the EPA’s website has planning, storage, prep, and thriftiness tips for reducing wasted food at home as well as a toolkit for your home and your community.
Earth Day Network’s Earth Day Daily Challenge
Earth Day Network is issuing a daily micro challenge to help fight the climate crisis from home. Activities include measuring your carbon footprint, registering to vote, doing a plastic audit, and more! Follow @EarthDayNetwork on Twitter to see each day’s activity.
Heat and cool your home more efficiently with tips from Energy Star
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Why not take steps this month to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system? Energy Star has a great list of resources to help you get started.
Build a better backyard with landscaping tips from the Department of Energy
The right type of landscaping can save energy, water, and money. In fact, on average, a well-designed landscape saves enough energy to pay for itself in less than 8 years! The Department of Energy has a great infographic with strategies for landscaping your yard by climate.
Take part in TerraCycle’s free recycling programs and earn Earth Bucks
Every Earth Month TerraCycle encourages communities and individuals to gear up their collection and recycling of traditionally non-recyclable waste—everything from beauty product packaging to dirty diapers to snack and candy wrappers. As part of their Earth Bucks program, people can collect their favorite products for recycling and automatically earn 100 bonus points for every shipment sent in for participating programs. The points are redeemable for a school or charity of your choice.