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Earth Day – Earth Day

When, where and how to celebrate it

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Would you like to know what Earth Day is and how you can celebrate it? Fantastic! Here in our ultimate guide, we’ve put together everything you need to know about Earth Day.

What is Earth Day?

Also known as “Earth Day”, Earth Day is an occasion to celebrate our planet.

It is a small reminder that we all live on the same planet. And that we need to pay attention to him – more on this below.

In short:

When we celebrate the earth, we also celebrate life. And we all love life in some way, don’t we?

Now you know what Earth Day is. Do you already know when it is?

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day is celebrated in Germany and 174 other countries every year on April 22.

Each year, the celebration has a specific theme. The aim of the campaign is to create a greater awareness of nature and promote appreciation for the environment.

The smartest scientists on our planet say that now is our last chance to save our planet. It’s definitely time to act!

Earth Day – a brief history

Did you know that the first Earth Day in 1970 was celebrated by over 20 million people?

The first mention of dedicating one day a year to our planet was at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco in 1969.

A month later, the idea was adopted by US Senator Gaylord Nelson and activist Denis Hayes, and became known as “Earth Day”. Denis Hayes turned out to be a marketing and PR genius, and developed the idea into something much bigger than anyone could have imagined.

Activist Denis Hayes

Earth Day 1970 became the biggest one-day protest in the history of mankind!

But that was not all: in 1990 Hayes made the day international and organized events in 141 countries around the world!

In 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated by over 100 million people.

Earth Day is the most widely celebrated secular holiday in the world today.

Earth Day in Germany

Of course we also celebrate Earth Day here in Germany!

Every year, Earth Day in Germany has a special leitmotif for a wide range of activities relating to environmental and climate protection. It’s meant to be an inspiration for people to try out sustainable hacks and make lasting changes in their lives.

The motto for Earth Day 2024 is:

“Planet vs Plastic”

Earth Day offers us a great opportunity to question how we currently live and how we can reduce our impact on the environment.

Earth Day fun facts

Now you know the story of Earth Day, here are some fun facts to impress your friends with:

1. the naming of the Earth Day

Originally, the plan was to call the Earth Day “Environmental Teach-In”. Understandably, this didn’t stick, and so Hayes needed a cooler name.

Along came Julien Koenig. Ever heard of him? No? No worries.

He is the brains behind Volkswagen’s Think Small campaign (a campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle) – one of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time.

And there he was, having coffee with Denis Hayes, brainstorming to come up with cool brand names for a day of environmental awareness.

The story is that Koenig had four ideas: “Ecology Day”, “Environment Day”, “Earth Day” and “E Day”.

“Earth Day” was his personal recommendation because it rhymes with “birthday” and April 22 was Koenig’s birthday.

It’s funny how one of the most popular events in the world came about!

2. the date for Earth Day

John McConnell, who had the original idea for Earth Day, suggested March 21. March 21 is the day of the equinox, the astronomical beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.

But Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes opted for the April 22. And they were much, much better at marketing and PR. That is the only reason why Earth Day on April 22, and not on March 21.

Did Julien Koenig also have a hand in this? After all, April 22 was also his birthday. A great way to leave a legacy.

Ultimately, it’s all about marketing. Even when it comes to saving our planet.

3. day of the earth vs. day of the tree

As the name suggests, we celebrate trees on Arbor Day. In Germany, it falls on April 25.

Although the first Arbor Day was celebrated worldwide in 1594 – and is therefore hundreds of years older than Earth Day – Earth Day became much better known.

It all comes down to marketing…

If you want to learn more about Arbor Day, check out the full Arbor Day guide.

The 3 most popular Earth songs

To celebrate Earth Day appropriately, we need to familiarize ourselves with the best Earth songs out there.

There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands. To save you time, we have selected the top 3 Earth songs for you.

Tell us in the comments what your favorite song is!

Michael Jackson – Earth Song

Probably the most popular earth song in the world comes from pop music legend Michael Jackson.

You probably know the song, but have you ever seen the video?

Lil Dicky’s Earth Song

Somehow, Earth Song producers aren’t exactly creative when it comes to choosing a name for their song.

Here’s Lil Dicky’s Earth Song – co-written with over 30 other super-famous artists, including Ed Sheeran (the koala), Ariana Grande (the zebra), Justin Bieber (the baboon), Snoop Dogg (as Marijuana) and Kevin Hart (as Kanye West).

Louis Armstrong – What a wonderful world

The all-time classic from 1967. (Before Earth Day was invented. Possibly one of the reasons why it is not called “Earth Day Song”).

Turn up the speakers and sing along!

Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. With these catchy tunes, we can now get involved in the coolest Earth Day activities.

The 14 coolest activities for Earth Day

Now you know all about Earth Day. Are you ready to celebrate?

Here are the coolest activities for Earth Day.

Invite all your friends. Of course, it’s better to celebrate together!

Celebrate Earth Day at home: 9 indoor activities

The most obvious way to celebrate Earth Day is to go out and enjoy Mother Nature.

But if for some reason you’d rather stay at home, here are the coolest activities you can do indoors on Earth Day. (Bonus: you don’t have to wear pants here either…)

1. listen to the Earth Songs (and sing along).

We have collected the top 3 Earth Songs in the world for a reason.

Turn up your speakers and sing along!

Then invite a few friends over for a little Earth Day party.

2. find your favorite green book

Looking for something quieter? Read a green book and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of nature.

We’re not talking about dry textbooks! How about a gripping novel?

Let yourself be enchanted by multiple award-winning page turners. “The Song of the Crayfish” by Delia Owens and “The Roots of Life” by Richard Powers are perfect if you want to spend a cozy Earth Day at home.

And no list of fascinating green books would be complete without “The Secret Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben – a must for every nature lover!

3. plant a tree for a person you really like

Make a difference!

Plant a tree for our earth. You can also dedicate it to someone you really like.

It is our actions today that will determine our planet tomorrow…

4. the lungs of the earth – 15 amazing forest facts

Without forests, we would have ceased to exist a long time ago. They are the green lungs of the earth and home to many living creatures.

There are so many things we can learn from forests and trees. These facts about the forest ecosystem are guaranteed to fascinate you.

5. change your background to a nature image

Many people react to things they see.

This way you can remind yourself every single day how wonderful our planet is. Every time you unlock your cell phone or start your laptop, you can admire the beauty of the earth.

The most memorable photos are the ones you take yourself.

Of course, you can also do this from the comfort of your own home by searching the web – or be inspired by Maja’s tree gallery. Maja is a long-time supporter of Click A Tree and loves photographing trees.

6. look out of the window

The beauty of the earth is all around us. Take a moment to enjoy the view from your window. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to do something great.

7. start an earth painting competition with friends

When was the last time you painted a picture of Mother Earth?

Now is the best time! Start an Earth painting competition with your friends. Who can paint the funniest, most beautiful or most detailed picture of our planet?

Take your best pictures and share them with us on Instagram!

8. Netflix & Chill

Some days you don’t want to leave the sofa. We get it.

And sometimes these days are April 22. That’s okay too.

But there’s something you can do even if you’re in the mood for Netflix & Chill – you can watch a breathtaking documentary about our sensational planet.

It will totally change the way you think about the earth. And then you’ll want to plant a huge amount of trees!

Here is our favorite selection:

9th Earth Day cooking evening with friends

Since we’ve just mentioned movies, the next thing we’re thinking about is food.

Organize a cosy cooking session with a few friends.

It’s Earth Day – decide to cook vegetarian or vegan food. The production and consumption of meat has a drastic effect on our planet. (They fall under these 5 causes of deforestation).

You can find many delicious options all over the internet. How about one of these 40 sensational vegan recipes?

(Do you have a favorite recipe of your own? Share it in the comments below – we’d love to try it!)

4 outdoor activities for Earth Day

The weather is nice and you feel like going out?

Fantastic. Now, of course, you can go ahead and plant your own trees.

But if that’s not your thing, here are some more great activities you can do outside on Earth Day this year.

1. get a tree or earth tattoo

Show your love for Mother Earth with a fantastic tattoo of the Earth!

Since we’re mainly focusing on trees here, we’ve put together a collection of the finest tree tattoos (including their meanings) for you.

But if you’re looking for something a little more global, your favorite tattoo artist is sure to have great ideas too.

2. do an Earth Day dance (preferably with friends)

Really? You’ve never heard of the official Earth Day dance?

To be honest: neither do we.

So now is the time to invent one! Think of an acrobatic / mind-blowing / fun dance that honors our planet. Maybe it will even be the next TikTok sensation.

Then dance it all Earth Night long…

Don’t forget to record a video. Then post it and tag us on Instagram. We’ll be on the lookout for #earthdaydance and #clickatree.

Some things are much more fun when you do them together. Share these Earth Day activities with your friends and spend a fantastic day together.

3. plant your own tree

As mentioned above, planting a tree is always a great option – especially on Earth Day.

Check that your garden has enough space and call your local nursery and ask which tree species is best for you.

Otherwise, you can also take part in a community event – there are so many. (If not – organize one.)

It’s a lot of fun – and you always meet inspiring people.

4. help clean up your neighborhood

Beach and city clean-ups are the big new trend in outdoor activities. You’ll be doing something meaningful that’s good for the planet, meeting new people and staying fit at the same time.

And hey: all these benefits won’t cost you a penny! What’s not to like?

If you want to go one step further, you can also try “plogging”. This is a Swedish neologism of “jogging” and “plocka up” (collecting garbage).

In this activity, you jog along your favorite route and collect garbage in a small garbage bag. The a) helps Mother Earth and b) improves your workout by engaging your whole body.

To learn more about plogging and other amazing things, read our truly meaningful New Year’s resolutions. (Which you can really start at any time of year).

5. build an insect hotel

The last unique Earth Day activity you can do outside is to build an insect hotel. (Then call it “The Click A Tree Air-Bee-and-Bee”. Haha.)

As you know, insects are vital to our planet, including for the production of the food we all love.

Build them a brand new home. This can also be made entirely from used materials.

Here is a short video explaining how to build an insect hotel properly.

Fantastic. There are lots of things you can do on Earth Day, don’t you think?

If we missed your favorite Earth Day activity – post it in the comments below!

(Free) trees for Earth Day

We promised you (free) tree offers for Earth Day, and here they are.

Some of these offers are free, others are not – you can choose which ones you like best.

Ultimately, when done right, planting trees supports 16 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations!

Planting trees is therefore holistically the most sustainable thing you can do on Earth Day.

Here are our 4 favorite options:

1. #freetrees4you

Starting April 1, you can open one of the 26 virtual doors of the Arbor Day calendar to see which name gets to plant a free tree.

People with this chosen first name can then plant their free tree via Click A Tree’s Universal Impact Platform. The platform allows you to track the positive effects of your tree*.

Even if your name wasn’t chosen for this Arbor Day campaign, you can still help reforest the planet by forwarding the Arbor Day calendar to a person with that name.

Helping the earth to heal is a task for us all. That’s why Click A Tree has launched the #freetree4you campaign.

To be the first to find out which names get to plant free trees, follow our Instagram page.

2nd free tree for Earth Day

Go for a walk in the forest and collect some tree seeds. These trees are already growing in your area and are therefore already adapted to the local conditions.

Plant them in your garden, your neighborhood or the nearest community forest.

2. support the local economy

Contact your local nursery. They know which tree is best for your area – and how to care for it so that it grows into a large, healthy tree.

3. a global tree for Earth Day

Plant your Earth Day tree right here, right now. What’s stopping you?

Trees are one of the most sustainable gifts. So if you don’t plant the tree for yourself, you can always dedicate it to someone special.

Pro tip: The nice thing is that it’s not a question of either – or. You can follow all 3 suggestions and plant as many trees as you like for Earth Day. Mother Nature will thank you!

Now to you

What will your Earth Day look like? What do you have planned? Have you celebrated Earth Day before? Do you have any great stories, hacks or tips to share?

Please let us know in the comments below. We would really like to hear from you!

Do you know someone who would like to learn about Earth Day? Share it with them.